The dismissal of Mido altered the course of what was developing into a cracking encounter against Chelsea after which, against ten men, the visitors ran out 2-0 winners.
Mido was controversially red-carded after 25 minutes after jumping for a header with Asier Del Horno. His arm did catch the back of the defender and this was deemed a sending off offence by referee Rob Styles. From that moment, winning looked an unlikely proposition and Chelsea secured a points takeaway with goals from Del Horno and Duff.
Expectation of an enthralling afternoon was hanging in the White Hart Lane air as kick-off neared. The concourses were unusually full during the build up, but not without good reason as fans tried to get the best of both sporting worlds by watching the cricket.
Come 3pm the lure of Freddie Flintoff and Simon Jones would give way to captain Paul Robinson and the boys as they got ready to attempt to inflict a first points loss of the season on Chelsea. The atmosphere inside the ground was absolutely fizzing when the game got underway.
There were gasps as early as the third minute when Michael Dawson latched onto a Michael Carrick corner but his header drifted just wide of Petr Cech's right hand post. Before that, Del Horno required fairly long treatment after taking a blow in a penalty area melee.
A scintillating tempo was being set in the opening exchanges and Cech was fortunate a Jermain Defoe drive was fired straight at him before Didier Drogba was caught offside on his way through but Dawson and Paul Stalteri were not to know and the Ivory Coast international was challenged heavily from both sides.
There was drama in the 19 minute when a combination of Defoe and Teemu Tainio split the Chelsea back line and Edgar Davids appeared to break clear but was tripped right on the edge of the area by Michael Essien. The Stamford Bridge new boy got a yellow card when he could well have seen red.
The intensity of the game cranked up another couple of notches as a result and a flashpoint was not too far away - 25 minutes to be precise. Mido challenged high for an aerial boy with Del Horno and referee Rob Styles immediately waved the red card. There was a long delay before realisation set in for Mido and he left the pitch. It certainly appeared to be an extremely harsh decision, but closer replays will determine whether Styles was correct in his action or not.
A tough job was being made all the more difficult and Defoe was now operating alone up front, at least until Martin Jol could formulate a half-time plan of action.
The upshot was though, the game was spoilt as a spectacle by the unevening of numbers and Chelsea took the lead on 38 minutes when Del Horno connected with a Lampard corner and nodded past Robinson - the first goal conceded this season.
Carrick had the chance to level on the stroke of half-time but Cech was equal to his free-kick from just outside the area.
Martin made a half-time change, handing a debut to Aaron Lennon in place of Tainio. Lennon's speed would hopefully compensate for being a man down and provide a link between midfield and attack.
Chelsea were doing most of the pressing in the first 15 minutes of the second period without really troubling Robinson. The pace of Lennon did trouble the visitors just after the hour and there was a penalty claim, but it certainly served to spark the crowd back into voice and the team responded.
Unfortunately, it was Chelsea who gained reward for an attacking sortie on 70 minutes when substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips got the better of Stephen Kelly down the right flank and his cross was met by Duff who scuffed the ball into the ground but the bounce deceived Robinson and it ended up in the back of the net.
Dawson was switched into attack as Martin sought to reduce the deficit but it was not to be and we will be left to wonder what the outcome would have been had the game stayed X1 v X1.