An unfortunate Tosin Adarabioyo own goal saw Tottenham edge to a narrow 1-0 win at Fulham, with the hosts once again frustrated in front of goal.
Fulham had seen a plethora of chances pass them by in a goalless draw against Crystal Palace at the weekend and a lack of cutting edge up front was once again their Achilles heel on Thursday.
They were unable to keep a third successive home clean sheet when Adarabioyo (19) inadvertently turned Dele Alli's flick into his own net to ultimately hand Spurs their first league away win since January 17.
Fulham dominated the second half and thought they had deservedly equalised when Josh Maja (62) fired home, but the ball had hit Mario Lemina on the arm just before and VAR ruled out the strike.
- Scott Parker: Raw emotion lost with VAR | Jose Mourinho: Dele Alli deserved to start
- How the teams lined up | Match stats
- Premier League table | Premier League top scorers
- Premier League fixtures | Premier League results
The hosts will feel like it is another opportunity missed - a victory would have taken them out of the bottom three for the first time since Christmas - but remain in 18th.
Meanwhile, the win boosts Spurs' chance of finishing in a European spot and have won back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since November. They are four points from Everton in fifth and five off Chelsea, who went into fourth after their 1-0 win against Liverpool.
How Spurs edged to victory at Craven Cottage
It was an achingly familiar story for Fulham. They began well in the first half with some good attacking build-up, but failed to create any clear-cut chances. Their best was in the seventh minute when Ademola Lookman sent a shot straight at the waiting Hugo Lloris.
After beating Burnley 4-0 on Sunday, Tottenham soon began to find their feet as Gareth Bale and Davinson Sanchez saw shots blocked by Alphonse Areola, but Bale was offside as Heung-Min Son played him through. Harry Kane - who had scored in each of his four appearances against Fulham prior to the game - should have put Spurs ahead in the 18th minute, but his free header went straight at the goalkeeper.
Fulham: Areola (7), Cavaleiro (7), Andersen (7), Adarabioyo (7), Aina (7), Reed (7), Lemina (6), Robinson (7), Loftus-Cheek (7), Lookman (8), Maja (7).
Subs used: Anguissa (6), Mitrovic (6), Bryan (6).
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Doherty (6), Sanchez (7), Alderweireld (7), Davies (7), Ndombele (7), Hojbjerg (7), Bale (6), Alli (7), Son (7), Kane (7).
Subs used: Moura (6), Sissoko (6), Lamela (6).
Man of the match: Ademola Lookman.
Tottenham made the breakthrough a minute later. There was some wonderful build-up as Alli sent Son away down the left, with the South Korea international then sending a low, fizzing cross through the area. Alli was there with the flick, which was inadvertently turned home by the legs of Adarabioyo, who was awarded the unfortunate own goal a few minutes later.
Spurs continued to see the better of the attacking play. Alli and Son combined again as the former sent in the cross this time, but Son could only direct his header wide.
- Fulham made three changes. Kenny Tete, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Bobby Decordova-Reid dropped to the bench, with Ivan Cavaleiro, Mario Lemina and Antonee Robinson coming into the XI.
- Tottenham also made three changes. Serge Aurier, Sergio Reguilon and Lucas Moura dropped out with Matt Doherty, Ben Davies and Dele Alli - making his first league start since the opening weekend -returning to the XI.
But Fulham's best chance came with the last kick of the half. Antonee Robinson picked out Maja in the middle but, under pressure and with a poor first touch, could only send the ball back to the waiting Lemina. However, the Southampton loanee lofted his effort well into the empty stands.
Fulham dominated the second half, and their two centre-backs had sights of goal in the opening 10 minutes. Joachim Andersen nodded an Ivan Cavaleiro free-kick goalwards, but Lloris tipped it over the crossbar with his fingertips. Adarabioyo tried to redeem himself from the corner with a header, but again, Lloris was over to his left to make the save.
Fulham thought they had deservedly equalised just after the hour mark. Maja twisted and turned himself into space in the area, but his initial effort was seen away by Sanchez. However, the ball hit Lemina on the arm before landing again to Maja, who then fired past Lloris. But VAR checked the goal and correctly - albeit harshly - ruled it out for handball.
Kane could have put the result to bed in the final 10 minutes, but saw another glorious chance pas shim by. He was picked out by Erik Lamela, but his effort went straight at Areola. The hosts continued to play superb football, forcing real concentration from the Spurs defence but could not find the net as they were once again frustrated.
Man of the match - Ademola Lookman
It's not often that the man of the match is given to someone on the losing side, but it proves just how well Fulham played and they truly deserved at least a point against Tottenham.
Lookman was particularly lively for the hosts, especially in the second half. He was a menace down the left and even Lloris was telling his players to do something about it by the midway point. Lookman had two shots and made two key passes - the joint highest of Fulham's squad.
He always drew three fouls, although it is a shame that the resulting free kicks could not be turned into Fulham goals.
Fulham manager Scott Parker said: "In the first half, I thought we started the game well. We probably then didn't stamp our way on the game in terms of what I want from the team to play like a top side. I felt like we didn't take the game enough to Spurs or certainly trying to show our quality in those moments.
"In the second half, we did every bit of that. I thought we were fantastic in terms of the way we played, our endeavour, the way we moved the ball, the way we were really dynamic in those moments to try and get ourselves back in the game.
"We should have got something out of the game tonight. We've not done that and it's disappointing, but overall, a first-class performance from us.
"I understand why the goal wasn't given tonight and that's the rule. I don't agree with that rule because looking at it, I don't know what else he can physically do. If it doesn't hit his arm, it hits his side, but I'm not complaining about that, the referee has just acted to the law, but maybe with a bit of common sense in those moments.
"We've got VAR so you can always go back and work out if there's a clear advantage being had in that moment and I think tonight, there wasn't a clear advantage but that's what it is.
"I honestly think and honestly believe that [if Fulham keep playing as they did against Spurs, they will be safe]. We played against a fantastic team and a top football club… with arguably the best front three in the division.
"Tonight, if you were someone who didn't understand or it was the first time you were watching that match tonight, how the two teams are and where they're placed, you wouldn't suggest that was the case.
"It's constant belief that we'll get a result if we put in performances like that and we need to maintain that."
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said: "It was an important win, we need points and three are better than one. I believe that we showed from the first minute that we were coming for that and the first half was a good half for us.
"The second half was harder, they put some pressure on us, but when we made the changes and bought a new energy and dynamic to the team, we bought danger to the other side and solid block to defend.
"We were the team that had the best chances in the last 10 minutes and had a good control of the game, a control we lost during the 15 or 20 minutes in the middle of the second half. But in the end, it is three points for us and very important.
"I don't want to look to the table. I want to win matches and especially for a team like us that is playing in two competitions, the next match is Premier League but after that, it is Europa League.
"I don't want to look too much to the table, I don't want to feel too much about that, I just want to try to win matches and that's what we did today. Another one is coming fast on Sunday but we try again."
- This was only Tottenham's fourth Premier League 1-0 win where the only goal was an own goal, but the second to come under Jose Mourinho (also vs Everton in July 2020).
- Tottenham have won each of their last six away Premier League games against Fulham, a run which began back in the 2010-11 season.
- Fulham have failed to score in eight home Premier League games this season - the joint-most of any side in 2020-21 (also West Brom).
- Tosin Adarabioyo was the first Fulham player to score a Premier League own goal since Denis Odoi v Burnley in January 2019. His was also the first own goal that Spurs have benefitted from in this season's Premier League.
Live Renault Super Sunday
Live Renault Super Sunday
Fulham will be live on Sky Sports this weekend as they travel to Liverpool in the Premier League; kick-off 2pm. Tottenham will play later on Sunday when they host Crystal Palace, also live on Sky Sports; kick-off 7.15pm.