It was a tough afternoon's work against a stubborn and determined Everton side who proved particularly difficult to break down until the team used their heads, so to speak, sparking joy among the vast majority of the 36,247 crowd.
There were returns for Michael Dawson, Lee Young-Pyo and Michael Carrick as Simon Davies was welcomed back onto the White Hart Lane turf for the first time since his summer departure for Merseyside. Ledley King overcame his thigh knock sustained playing for England, while Mido recovered from his hamstring problem in time for the date with a team surprisingly holding up the Premiership.
Ahead of kick-off we were reminded of last season's New Year's Day humdinger in which Dean Marney planted himself at the forefront of the minds of the Spurs public. Time moves on though and Deano is currently furthering his experience at Norwich before hopefully returning and repeating the feat at some stage soon. It was quite a start to the year and some sort of action replay would have been high on the wish list of another full-house in attendance.
It would be fair to say the game was something of a slow burner to begin with as Everton set up with a packed midfield bank of five, with only Marcus Bent operating in attack. Therefore, chances that required goalkeeper intervention were non-existent in the opening stages.
The nearest to possibly producing an opening came on 13 minutes when a clever free-kick from Carrick over the right was aimed low into the feet of Jermain Defoe who, while executing the turn, failed to make a decisive connection and the ball squirted away out of the danger area. At the other end James McFadden finally bought a keeper into action when he slapped in a low-ish drive the Paul Robinson was forced to bat away with both hands.
The game had sprung to life and a real tease of the cross from Aaron Lennon sat up nicely for Dawson, who would have been celebrating his first goal for the club had the reflexes of Nigel Martyn not been finely tuned and the header of the central defender was pawed skywards by the former England keeper.
There was a decent penalty shout at the half hour mark when Lee burst through the visiting defences and appeared to be tripped in the area by Matteo Ferrari
Referee Mr Gallagher waved the claims away. Dawson again nearly opened his account when, from a corner, he rose above surrounding bodies and pinged his header towards the inside of the left hand upright, only for Nuno Valente to clear off the line.
There followed a period of good passing pressure and an opening was created for Jermaine Jenas to try his luck, but Martyn was equal to the effort.
The opening ten minutes of the second period was not one for the purists as Everton's banks of four and five continued to frustrate attacking intentions and it was not until Defoe stung the hands of Martyn after a speedy dash down the left that the deadlock was remotely threatening to be broken.
It duly was on 56 minutes when Jenas floated over a brilliantly measured cross from the right which offered Mido the scope to use his strength in front of his marker and thrust his head onto the ball which then looped past the stranded Martyn and into the net.
The ground came to life and Everton would have to throw a little of their caution to the White Hart Lane wind.
It was another header just seven minutes later that doubled the advantage and produced a first Spurs goal for Jenas. Defoe was the architect when he picked up a Mido flick to the left of the area and the striker proceeded to deliver a cross with superb aim that found the head of Jenas and, with a powerful flick to re-direct, Martyn was beaten again to his left.
Robinson was called on as Everton mounted their response and he needed to be sharp to tip over a header from substitute Duncan Ferguson. Martin Jol made his first change on 71 minutes with the introduction of Andy Reid for the tiring Aaron Lennon.
Everton really went for the heavy artillery option by bringing on James Beattie to partner Ferguson, while Martin opted for the more subtle skills of Robbie Keane in place of Defoe.
There were further celebrations at both ends of the ground when the score ticker on the Jumbotron relayed the news that Arsenal had fallen behind at the Hawthorns - sets it up nicely for a couple of weeks time!
It was a case of 'heads - we win' against Everton as headers from Mido and Jermaine Jenas separated the two sides and lifted the boys to second place in the Premiership pecking order.