After a dismal first half and going 2-0 down just after the break, Glenn Hoddle gambled, switched to three up front and it almost paid off to maximum effect.
Goals from Robbie Keane and Steffen Iversen dragged us back on level terms before Rufus somehow headed Iversen's overhead kick off the line in injury time.
Unfortunately, there was one sour note again as, like at Maine Road just three days earlier, Christian Ziege was sent off for two bookable offences - the second for a debatable-looking foul on Scott Parker.
The first first half simply didn't get going.
Keane kicked off the half with intent as a dribble past two defenders forced Kiely into brave action within a minute.
But the visitors grasped the advantage when Lisbie slipped away from Perry and his cross deflected off King into the path of Euell who finished in style from 10 yards.
Keller saved well low to his left from Parker, Lisbie and Bartlett had headed chances and it took until the 37th for us to register another effort on goal as Kiely did well again to keep out a low Keane shot.
If the first half could have been better, it went from bad to worse just three minutes after the break.
Lisbie played the ball through to Euell and although Keller blocked the initial effort, the ball popped up perfectly for the the striker to tap into an empty net.
The changes followed on the hour mark as Glenn threw on Ferdinand and Iversen for Freund and Sheringham and went with three up front.
It took seven minutes to work as Keane gleefully smashed Iversen's knock down into the top corner from 18 yards.
Now it was all Spurs. Carr rasped a shot wide, Ziege's effort was too hot for Kiely to handle but the ball bounced safe and the keeper saved well from Keane and Ziege.
Iversen struck to level with four minutes left, climbing high to meet Carr's deep cross and head back across Kiely into the far corner.
The Norwegian must still be wondering how Rufus cleared his overhead kick off the line with Kiely still grounded after saving from Davies in injury time and Keane headed wide from the resulting corner.
Ziege was then sent off for a second yellow although Parker seemed to make the most of a nothing challenge.
MINUTE-BY-MINUTE GUIDE TO THE ACTION
1min: SAVE. Keane jinked past two defenders, Kiely out quickly to deny him bravely.
3mins: Ziege free-kick comfortably picked up by Kiely.
13mins: GOAL. Lisbie slipped away from Perry, low cross fell to Euell who buried from 10 yards. 0-1.
16mins: SAVE. Keller down sharply to his left to parry away Parker shot from left side of box.
18mins: Lisbie, always reaching, headed free-kick over from eight yards.
32mins: YELLOW. Rufus for foul on Keane.
35mins: Powell cross met by Bartlett header straight at Keller.
37mins: SAVE. Kiely strong hand to keep out low Keane shot from edge of the area.
44mins: Poyet's downward header from Anderton corner blocked by bodies on the line.
Half-time: Spurs 0-1 Charlton
Half-time: SUB. Davies for Anderton.
48mins: GOAL. Lisbie played the ball through to Euell, right side of box, Keller blocked initial one-on-one but ball fell kindly to Euell, who tapped home. 0-2.
50mins: Deep Ziege cross met by Sheringham at a tight angle far post, volleyed into side netting.
51mins: YELLOW. Freund for foul on Euell.
53mins: Sheringham flick blocked, loose ball fell to Poyet whose shot was deflected just wide.
55mins: YELLOW. Ziege for foul on Lisbie.
56mins: Superb last-ditch tackle from Perry denied Lisbie.
58mins: CHANCE. King flicked on Davies long throw, Keane nipped in ahead of Kiely but hooked difficult chance over.
60mins: SUBS. Iversen and Ferdinand on for Sheringham and Freund.
64mins: Ziege deep corner met by diving Perry header at far post but effort into side netting.
67mins: GOAL. Long ball from Ziege headed into Keane's path by Iversen, Irish striker smashed volley into top corner. 1-2.
69mins: Carr strike just wide from 22 yards.
71mins: Fierce Ziege strike with right foot too hot for Kiely to handle, loose ball fell kindly for Charlton.
73mins: SUB. Konchesky for Fish.
78mins: Low Keane cross claimed well by Kiely at near post.
81mins: SUB. Kishishev for Jensen.
83mins: Ziege half-chance from Poyet pass but Kiely right behind it.
86mins: Keane onto Ferdinand flick but couldn't get shot off.
86mins: GOAL. Deep cross from Davies found Iversen at far post, towering header back across goal into the far corner. 2-2.
88mins: SUB. Fortune for Bartlett.
Injury time: OFF LINE. Davies through on Kiely, keeper saved one-on-one, Iversen overhead kick from eight yards incredibly headed off line by Rufus.
Injury time: From corner, Keane diving in at far post but headed into side netting.
Injury time: YELLOW/OFF. Ziege for foul on Parker.
Line-ups: Spurs: Keller, Carr, Freund (Ferdinand, 60), Perry, Anderton (Davies, 45), Sheringham (Iversen, 60) Poyet, Keane, Ziege, King, Bunjevcevic. Subs: Sullivan, Taricco.
Charlton: Kiely, Powell, Rufus, Fish (Konchesky, 73), Parker, Euell, Jensen (Kishishev, 81), Rowett, Bartlett (Fortune, 88), Young, Lisbie. Subs: Johansson, Roberts.
Richard Rufus' amazing last-ditch clearance denied the comeback of the season as this Boxing Day belter got better and better.