Emmanuel Adebayor struck to sink Everton and give Tottenham an important three points in the race for a place in next season's Champions League.

The ex-Arsenal striker profited from a quickly taken free-kick to drill past Tim Howard and send Spurs up to fifth.

Tim Sherwood 'proud' of Spurs response

His second-half finish settled a tight contest after Leon Osman had headed over and seen a shot saved, as Everton had the better of the opening period.

The loss leaves the Blues sixth, five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.

Roberto Martinez's side will feel hard done by after Seamus Coleman saw a strong penalty appeal turned down when he went down under Etienne Capoue's lunging challenge in injury time.

While a draw would perhaps have been a fairer result, Tottenham's resurgence under Tim Sherwood continues.

Andre Villas-Boas's successor, who has now won six of his nine Premier League games in charge, owes much to Adebayor, who played only once in the league under the Portuguese this season.

Everton - without their main striker Romelu Lukaku through injury - travelled to White Hart Lane with only one clean sheet from their past 10 league games.

Emmanuel the great

Emmanuel Adebayor

Tottenham have not lost a Premier League game from a winning position this season and have won every league match in which Emmanuel Adebayor has scored.

Despite largely restricting their hosts, a momentary lapse of concentration from Kyle Walker's free-kick enabled Adebayor to score his sixth league goal since Villas-Boas's departure.

Martinez will, however, take positives from Everton's energetic start as Spurs - without a single goal inside the first 15 minutes of any league fixture this season - started typically slowly.

Leon Osman went close on four occasions inside 10 minutes, his best effort a volley which required a smart save from Hugo Lloris, and the midfielder headed over from the resulting corner.

Neat link-up play between Osman, Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas threatened to hurt Spurs and Sherwood swiftly stepped off his bench in an attempt to influence his lacklustre side.

Captain Michael Dawson responded by glancing a free header over the bar, but all too often Spurs' first-half attacks became overly intricate and broke down in the final third.

Adebayor came to the fore early in the second period and headed one of his side's nine corners over the bar, before breaking the deadlock in clinical style.

The 29-year-old expertly chested down Walker's set-piece delivery in the 65th minute and fired left-footed past Howard at his near post.

Defeat harsh on Everton - Martinez

It was Spurs' first shot on target and with the hosts yet to lose a league game from a winning position this season, Martinez summoned Gerard Deulofeu.

His fellow substitute Aiden McGeady saw his deflected cross well fielded by a scrambling Lloris, but Everton's first-half zest had disappeared.

Adebayor fired over from range late on, before Coleman appeared to be tripped by Capoue in the area.

But referee Mark Clattenburg waved away the penalty appeal and Everton suffered only their fourth league defeat of the season.

For a selection of images from Sunday's Premier League games go to the BBC Sport Facebook page. 

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Tottenham Hotspur

  • 25 Lloris
  • 02 Walker
  • 03 Rose
  • 19 Dembélé Booked
  • 20 Dawson
  • 05 Vertonghen
  • 42 Bentaleb
  • 08 Paulinho (Capoue - 68' )
  • 10 Adebayor
  • 07 Lennon (Defoe - 86' )
  • 23 Eriksen (Townsend - 59' )

Substitutes

  • 04 Kaboul
  • 09 Soldado
  • 15 Capoue
  • 16 Naughton
  • 17 Townsend
  • 18 Defoe
  • 24 Friedel

Everton

  • 24 Howard
  • 23 Coleman
  • 03 Baines
  • 18 Barry
  • 06 Jagielka
  • 15 Distin
  • 11 Mirallas
  • 16 McCarthy
  • 14 Naismith (Deulofeu - 73' )
  • 21 Osman (McGeady - 73' )
  • 22 Pienaar (Barkley - 64' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Robles
  • 02 Hibbert
  • 07 McGeady
  • 10 Deulofeu
  • 20 Barkley
  • 26 Stones
  • 28 Traore
Ref: Mark Clattenburg
Att: 35,944

Match Stats

Shots

8 10

On target

2 3

Corners

9 7

Fouls

9 13

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Everton 0.

90:00 +3:23 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Everton 0.

90:00 +2:46

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Tim Howard.

90:00 +2:44

Attempt saved. Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Emmanuel Adebayor.

88:30

Foul by Gerard Deulofeu (Everton).

88:30

Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

86:48 Booking

Booking Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

86:46

Gareth Barry (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

86:46

Foul by Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur).

85:02 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Jermain Defoe replaces Aaron Lennon.

84:15

Foul by Sylvain Distin (Everton).

84:15

Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

82:42

Foul by James McCarthy (Everton).

82:42

Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82:08

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Kyle Walker.

79:53

Seamus Coleman (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79:53

Foul by Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur).

78:37

Gerard Deulofeu (Everton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

78:37

Foul by Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur).

77:44

Attempt missed. Ross Barkley (Everton) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the right. Assisted by Sylvain Distin.

76:14

Attempt missed. Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Mousa Dembélé.

75:51

Attempt blocked. Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Lennon.

73:27

Hand ball by James McCarthy (Everton).

72:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Aiden McGeady replaces Leon Osman.

72:40 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Gerard Deulofeu replaces Steven Naismith.

72:06

Offside, Everton. Gareth Barry tries a through ball, but Kevin Mirallas is caught offside.

69:01

Foul by Steven Naismith (Everton).

69:01

Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Etienne Capoue replaces Paulinho.

64:26 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 1, Everton 0. Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kyle Walker following a set piece situation.

64:18

Foul by Steven Naismith (Everton).

64:18

Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

63:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Ross Barkley replaces Steven Pienaar.

62:05

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Jan Vertonghen.

60:00

Leon Osman (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

60:00

Foul by Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur).

58:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Andros Townsend replaces Christian Eriksen.

56:05

Attempt blocked. Leon Osman (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

53:15

Attempt missed. Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Christian Eriksen with a cross following a corner.

52:54

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Phil Jagielka.

52:16

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Phil Jagielka.

51:26

Attempt missed. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Steven Pienaar.

48:27

Foul by Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur).

48:27

Kevin Mirallas (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:51

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Leighton Baines.

45:44

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Steven Pienaar.

45:00

Second Half begins Tottenham Hotspur 0, Everton 0.

45:00 +1:03 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 0, Everton 0.

39:33

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Michael Dawson.

38:51

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Kyle Walker.

36:14

Foul by Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur).

36:14

Steven Naismith (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

35:33

Attempt missed. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by James McCarthy.

33:46

Hand ball by Steven Pienaar (Everton).

33:14

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Michael Dawson.

33:10

Attempt missed. Sylvain Distin (Everton) header from very close range misses to the right. Assisted by Leighton Baines with a cross following a set piece situation.

32:20

Foul by Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur).

32:20

Kevin Mirallas (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

30:53

Attempt missed. Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Christian Eriksen with a cross following a corner.

30:27

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Leighton Baines.

28:00

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Seamus Coleman.

24:22

Attempt saved. Seamus Coleman (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by James McCarthy.

23:43

Foul by Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).

23:43

Steven Pienaar (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

23:33

Attempt blocked. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Leighton Baines.

22:15

Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:15

Foul by Seamus Coleman (Everton).

20:46

Attempt missed. Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Nabil Bentaleb.

19:11

Offside, Everton. Leighton Baines tries a through ball, but Steven Pienaar is caught offside.

18:06

Offside, Everton. Leon Osman tries a through ball, but Leighton Baines is caught offside.

16:07

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

16:07

Foul by Steven Naismith (Everton).

14:41

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by James McCarthy.

12:12

Attempt missed. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

11:25

Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

11:25

Foul by Steven Pienaar (Everton).

9:55

Foul by James McCarthy (Everton).

9:55

Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

9:29

Offside, Everton. Leon Osman tries a through ball, but Kevin Mirallas is caught offside.

7:47

Attempt saved. Leon Osman (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Steven Naismith.

6:58

Attempt missed. Leon Osman (Everton) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Kevin Mirallas with a cross following a corner.

6:35

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Hugo Lloris.

6:34

Attempt saved. Leon Osman (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Steven Naismith.

5:51

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Jan Vertonghen.

4:51

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Tim Howard.

4:08

Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:08

Foul by Steven Naismith (Everton).

2:27

Attempt missed. Leon Osman (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Seamus Coleman.

1:52

Foul by Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur).

1:52

Steven Naismith (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

0:56

Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

0:56

Foul by Steven Pienaar (Everton).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers