Jermain Defoe scored a brilliant hat-trick as Tottenham returned to form with a victory over NK Maribor that ignites their Europa League campaign.
Spurs drew their opening three Group J matches but Defoe put them ahead with a fine volley from Gareth Bale's cross.
A poor piece of defending from Kyle Naughton and Hugo Lloris allowed Robert Beric to level just before half-time.
But Defoe drilled home to restore his side's advantage and slipped home another Bale centre to seal the win.
It was a convincing result that moves Andre Villas-Boas's side up to second in the table - two points behind leaders Lazio, who beat Panathinaikos 3-0, and two above third-place Maribor.
Defoe's hat-trick took him to 126 goals for Tottenham, moving him above Teddy Sheringham to eighth on the club's all-time list. Martin Chivers (22) is now the only man to have scored more for Spurs in Europe than Defoe (15)
They travel to Lazio on 22 November before hosting Panathinaikos on 6 December, needing four points to guarantee a place in the last 32.
Aware that defeat would deal another significant blow to their European hopes, Villas-Boas abandoned the 4-5-1 formation he has used all season and instead opted for an attack-minded 4-4-2.
Emmanuel Adebayor earned his first start of the campaign and partnered Defoe up front as Spurs went in search of goals.
It was a decision that paid off as the hosts poured forward early on - Adebayor, Defoe and in particular Bale instrumental in stretching Maribor and picking holes in their defence.
Bale saw a header cleared from in front of the line before seeing a cross elude his team-mates after an incredible piece of control.
Defoe then headed Adebayor's centre straight at Maribor goalkeeper Jasmin Handanovic, but would not be denied a minute later.
Visiting right-back Martin Mejac was affording Bale far too much time and space, and punishment arrived when the Welshman crossed for an unmarked Defoe to angle a fine volley across Handanovic.
Muamba's emotional return
"Amazing day at White Hart Lane tonight. Thank you guys for everything - Spurs fans tonight were awesome. Thank you."
It was the least Tottenham deserved for their positive approach, but to Maribor's great credit they defended stoutly to avoid going further behind and then set about showing their own ambition.
A rare foray forward saw Goran Cvijanovic head over after Lloris had parried a Tavares shot, and within seconds the scores were level.
Lloris passed to Naughton on the left but the 23-year-old played it straight back and put his goalkeeper under pressure.
Instead of opting for a first-time clearance the Frenchman attempted to evade Beric but was tackled and the ball trickled over the line.
The mood of the home fans was lifted when Fabrice Muamba - back at White Hart Lane for the first time since
suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch in March
- was introduced at half-time.
"I want to thank all of you Spurs fans who were here and who prayed for me," said the former Bolton midfielder.
"You were all fantastic and I will never forget."
Such positive vibes seemed to lift Spurs after the break and they needed just three minutes to regain the lead, 20-year-old Tom Carroll releasing Defoe to plant a left-foot finish into the bottom corner.
Beric almost equalised again when he nodded Agim Ibraimi's free-kick just over the bar, but Tottenham were swiftly back on the front foot, utilising their speed and width at every opportunity.
A sumptuous scooped pass by Bale was volleyed wide by Adebayor, who was thwarted by Handanovic after being found by Kyle Walker.
There was no mistake from Defoe, though, and he rounded off a free-flowing move involving Adebayor, Tom Huddlestone and Bale to register his eighth goal of the season and fifth treble for Spurs.
Live text and stats
Thursday, 8 November 2012
- Defoe 22
- Defoe 49
- Defoe 77
- Tottenham 67%
- NK Maribor 33%
- Final Result
- Full Time
- 90:00+4:17 The match has reached full-time.
- 90:00+0:21 Substitution (Tottenham) makes a substitution, with Yago Falque coming on for Aaron Lennon.
- 88:47 Agim Ibraimi challenges Kyle Naughton unfairly and gives away a free kick. Emmanuel Adebayor takes the free kick.
- 88:03 Substitution Timotej Dodlek replaces Ales Mertelj.
- 87:05 Clint Dempsey takes a shot. Save by Jasmin Handanovic.
- 85:11 Substitution Gareth Bale leaves the field to be replaced by Ryan Mason.
- 84:36 Agim Ibraimi produces a cross, Michael Dawson makes a clearance.
- 81:02 Substitution Jermain Defoe goes off and Clint Dempsey comes on.
- 80:12 Centre by Tom Carroll, Soares Arghus manages to make a clearance.
- 78:45 Handball decision goes against Robert Beric. Tom Huddlestone takes the direct free kick.
- 76:29 Assist on the goal came from Gareth Bale.
- 76:29 GOAL - Jermain Defoe:Tottenham 3 - 1 NK Maribor Jermain Defoe finds the net with a goal from inside the box low into the middle of the goal. Tottenham 3-1 Maribor.
- 75:12 Soares Arghus restarts play with the free kick.
- 75:12 Substitution Nikola Komazec comes on in place of Marcos Tavares.
- 75:12 Booking Tom Carroll receives a yellow card.
- 74:56 Free kick awarded for a foul by Tom Carroll on Ales Mejac.
- 74:13 Tom Huddlestone takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Aleksander Rajcevic.
- 73:31 Emmanuel Adebayor takes a shot. Jasmin Handanovic makes a save. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Gareth Bale.
- 73:09 Tom Carroll fouled by Zeljko Filipovic, the ref awards a free kick. Tom Carroll restarts play with the free kick.
- 68:31 Jan Vertonghen takes the free kick.
- 68:31 Substitution Dejan Mezga comes on in place of Goran Cvijanovic.
- 68:31 Ales Mertelj gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jan Vertonghen.
- 65:41 Corner taken by Goran Cvijanovic from the left by-line played to the near post, Effort from deep inside the area by Zeljko
Filipovic misses to the left of the goal.
- 64:25 Agim Ibraimi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Carroll. Tom Huddlestone takes the direct free kick.
- 63:24 Corner taken by Gareth Bale from the left by-line, Soares Arghus makes a clearance.
- 56:37 Emmanuel Adebayor produces a volleyed right-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
- Correction - 55:21 The official flags Agim Ibraimi offside. Indirect free kick taken by Emmanuel Adebayor.
- 55:21 The official flags Agim Ibraimi offside. Emmanuel Adebayor takes the direct free kick.
- 53:34 Jan Vertonghen concedes a free kick for a foul on Robert Beric. The ball is sent over by Agim Ibraimi, Robert Beric has a
header from inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.
- 52:43 Direct free kick taken by Jasmin Handanovic.
- 52:43 Booking Gareth Bale is shown a yellow card for dissent.
- 52:34 Unfair challenge on Robert Beric by Gareth Bale results in a free kick.
- 50:45 Corner taken by Gareth Bale. Michael Dawson is adjudged to have handled the ball. Jasmin Handanovic restarts play with the
- 48:27 Assist on the goal came from Tom Carroll.
- 48:27 GOAL - Jermain Defoe:Tottenham 2 - 1 NK Maribor Goal scored by Jermain Defoe from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Tottenham 2-1 Maribor.
- 47:59 Ales Mejac takes a shot. Save by Hugo Lloris.
- 45:26 Emmanuel Adebayor concedes a free kick for a foul on Soares Arghus. Jasmin Handanovic takes the free kick.
- 45:01 The second half has started.
- Half Time
- 45:00+1:07 The match has reached half-time.
- 45:00+0:10 Ales Mejac has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.
- 44:17 Robert Beric is caught offside. Michael Dawson restarts play with the free kick.
- 43:29 Jermain Defoe is caught offside. Free kick taken by Jasmin Handanovic.
- 41:42 Unfair challenge on Marcos Tavares by Michael Dawson results in a free kick. Goran Cvijanovic restarts play with the free
- Correction - 39:49 GOAL - Robert Beric:Tottenham 1 - 1 NK Maribor A goal is scored by Robert Beric from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Tottenham 1-1 Maribor.
- 39:49 GOAL - Goran Cvijanovic:Tottenham 1 - 1 NK Maribor Goran Cvijanovic finds the net with a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Tottenham 1-1 Maribor.
- 38:40 Header from deep inside the area by Goran Cvijanovic goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
- 37:22 Tom Huddlestone crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing. Foul by Gareth Bale on Martin Milec, free
kick awarded. Free kick taken by Jasmin Handanovic.
- 37:22 Booking Caution for Ales Mejac.
- 37:14 Kyle Walker fouled by Ales Mejac, the ref awards a free kick.
- 34:09 The ball is crossed by Aaron Lennon, clearance by Ales Mejac.
- 33:55 A cross is delivered by Gareth Bale, clearance by Zeljko Filipovic.
- Correction - 32:00 Shot from just outside the area by Ales Mertelj goes over the bar. Corner taken short by Agim Ibraimi. Inswinging corner taken
by Goran Cvijanovic from the right by-line.
- 32:00 Shot by Ales Mertelj from just outside the area goes over the net. Agim Ibraimi takes a short corner. Corner taken by Agim
Ibraimi from the right by-line.
- 31:46 The official flags Emmanuel Adebayor offside. Aleksander Rajcevic takes the indirect free kick.
- 31:17 Emmanuel Adebayor takes a shot. Save by Jasmin Handanovic.
- 28:05 Gareth Bale takes a shot. Save by Jasmin Handanovic.
- 24:46 The offside flag is raised against Marcos Tavares. Tom Huddlestone takes the free kick.
- 24:14 The ball is sent over by Kyle Walker, Soares Arghus manages to make a clearance.
- 23:24 The ball is crossed by Gareth Bale, Soares Arghus manages to make a clearance.
- 21:20 Assist by Gareth Bale.
- 21:20 GOAL - Jermain Defoe:Tottenham 1 - 0 NK Maribor Jermain Defoe scores a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Tottenham 1-0 Maribor.
- 21:05 Foul by Agim Ibraimi on Kyle Walker, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Tom Carroll.
- 20:18 Robert Beric concedes a free kick for a foul on Jan Vertonghen. Free kick taken by Jan Vertonghen.
- 19:49 Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Save by Jasmin Handanovic.
- 19:19 Inswinging corner taken by Tom Huddlestone from the left by-line, Ales Mertelj makes a clearance.
- 18:32 Tom Huddlestone takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Ales Mejac.
- 13:42 Free kick awarded for a foul by Zeljko Filipovic on Jermain Defoe. Direct free kick taken by Tom Huddlestone.
- 11:45 Free kick awarded for a foul by Emmanuel Adebayor on Soares Arghus. Soares Arghus takes the direct free kick.
- 11:10 Marcos Tavares takes a shot. Blocked by Michael Dawson.
- 10:44 Unfair challenge on Ales Mertelj by Jermain Defoe results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Aleksander Rajcevic.
- 7:39 Gareth Bale delivers the ball, Soares Arghus manages to make a clearance. Effort from the edge of the box by Jermain Defoe
goes wide of the left-hand post.
- Correction - 6:30 Corner from the left by-line taken by Tom Huddlestone, Gareth Bale takes a shot. Ales Mejac manages to make a clearance.
- 6:30 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Tom Huddlestone, Michael Dawson takes a shot. Ales Mejac makes a clearance.
- 5:58 The ball is crossed by Gareth Bale, Aleksander Rajcevic manages to make a clearance.
- 5:11 The ball is swung over by Gareth Bale, clearance made by Aleksander Rajcevic.
- 2:34 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Tom Huddlestone, Robert Beric makes a clearance.
- 0:53 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Tom Huddlestone from the right by-line, Emmanuel Adebayor produces a header from
inside the area that goes over the bar.
- 0:00 The match has kicked off.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.