Dimitar Berbatov came back to haunt Tottenham as his strike gave Fulham a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane and dented his former side’s top four hopes.
A 2-0 win for Arsenal on Saturday over Swansea had cranked up the pressure on Spurs ahead of their clash with the Cottagers as the race for a Champions League qualification place hots up.
But the Lilywhites put in a pathetic performance in front of their home crowd as the Bulgarian’s second half sucker punch caught them cold.
And while they drop to fourth spot, Tottenham’s tricky run-in could see them falter and their fierce rivals, who are currently fifth, will relish the chance to usurp them late in the season for the second campaign in a row.
A Gareth Bale header with just six minutes on the clock nearly gave Spurs the lead but it was cleared off the line by Sascha Riether.
Good work from the Welshman and Mousa Dembele allowed Gylfi Sigurdsson a long range chance but he scuffed it well wide, while Scott Parker hit an ambitious 30-yard strike tamely over.
Fulham, in truth, rarely threatened Tottenham during the opening period but they were able to take the lead after 52 minutes when, following an excellent piece of skill and pass from Ashkan Dejagah, Riether was able to slide the ball across for ex-Spur Dimitar Berbatov to tap home.
And Brede Hangeland nearly doubled their lead with a header moments later from a corner, but his effort went just wide.
As Spurs pushed for victory Jermain Defoe, on as substitute, was twice denied by Mark Schwarzer who display excellent reflexes as he thwarted the England striker.
Fulham move into tenth with the victory at White Hart Lane.