Juan Pablo Angel's early goal condemned us to another defeat on our travels at Villa Park on Sunday.
Angel had the easiest of tasks in the fifth minute after Gareth Barry headed Thomas Hitzlsperger's free-kick back across goal.
It would be hard to argue that the home side didn't deserve the points. They certainly created the better chances and will still wonder how a barnstorming start to the second half didn't produce a second goal.
Meanwhile, we had enough efforts on goal in the 90 minutes without really creating that golden chance.
Dean Richards had the best of the chances but couldn't keep a first half header from Jamie Redknapp's free-kick on target while Simon Davies forced a sharp save from Thomas Sorensen in the second half.
Possession was even in the first half but it was a decent response from Angel's opener with Kanoute stinging Sorensen's hands, a free-kick from Redknapp, Richards' headed chance and Defoe forcing a block from Samuel before Villa troubled us seriously again.
When it came though, Angel should have doubled his personal tally and Villa's lead, heading a free-kick from the same spot as the opening goal over from eight yards.
As Villa finished the half well the same player fluffed an attempted chip and Gardner slid in to block De La Cruz's shot from the edge of the area.
Villa flew out of the traps at the start of the second half and could have scored three times inside two minutes.
The closest effort was the first of the three, on 47 minutes, as Hizlsperger unleashed one of his renowned thunderbolts that left the crossbar rattling.
A minute later and Gareth Barry let fly from the edge of the area with the outside of his left foot only for the ball to whistle inches wide and then, after fine work from Barry down the left, Gavin McCann was just as close.
However, the next notable action was at the other end and our best chance of the second half. Kanoute and Defoe linked on the left side, Kanoute chipped in a cross that cleared Brown but fell to Davies at the far post, he controlled and volleyed in an instant from 12 yards but Sorensen was there to make a sharp reaction save.
For all Villa's possession and the feeling - certainly afterwards - that they were on top, chances continue to arrive arrive at both ends. Indeed, it was interesting to note that the efforts on goal afterwards read 12-11 in Villa's favour.
Barry should really have picked out Angel on another burst into the box after 68 minutes, Kanoute headed at Sorensen and then our final chance, Keane rolled the perfect pass to Defoe in the box but, stretching, Defoe shot wide.
Substitute Marcus Allback might have done better after spinning Mauricio Taricco in the box with 13 minutes left and with substitutions interrupting play in the final minutes, that was just about that.
MINUTE BY MINUTE GUIDE
5mins: GOAL. Deep free-kick from Hitzlsperger headed back by Barry and home by Angel from two yards. 0-1.
6mins: Almost an immediate response as Brown crossfield pass found Kanoute in box, wide right, shot from tight angle too hot to handle for Sorensen who palmed away.
13mins: Redknapp free-kick from 25 yards always going over.
20mins: CHANCE. Richards rising high at far post to meet Redknapp free-kick but couldn't keep header down.
25mins: Keane through to Defoe, shooting chance from 18 yards but Samuel back to block.
27mins: Davies injected pace into decent move, deep cross headed back into danger area by Defoe but Kanoute not in position to capitalise.
34mins: MISS. Free-kick from Hitzlsperger in identical place to goal, Crouch, Angel and Barry queuing up for header, Angel headed over.
35mins: CHANCE. Angel the better of Kelly but made complete hash of attempted lob.
39mins: De La Cruz sold Taricco with dummied shot, actual shot then blocked by Gardner.
44mins: Lovely flick fromKanoute released Keane, Defoe run took defenders with him, Keane attempted curler lacked power and saved easily.
Half-time: Villa 1, Spurs 0
47mins: WOODWORK. Hitzlsperger almost broke crossbar with thunderbolt from 18 yards.
48mins: CLOSE. Barry drive with outside of the foot from 20 yards flew inches wide.
49mins: CLOSE. Good work from Barry down the left, Gardner blocked Hitzlsperger shot, McCann following up shot just wide.
57mins: SAVE. Kanoute cross cleared Brown but fell to Davies, control and volley forced Sorensen into sharp save to his left.
58mins: YELLOW. Solano for foul on Redknapp.
65mins: Keane dragged 25-yarder wide.
68mins: De La Cruz break down the left, Angel and Gardner went in together at near post, ball deflected just wide.
68mins: SUB. Allback for Angel.
69mins: Defoe dug out a cross, Kanoute difficult header straight at Sorensen.
70mins: SUB. Ricketts for Kelly.
76mins: CHANCE. Keane rolled in Defoe, stretching for ball slightly, tame shot wide.
77mins: MISS. Good move down Villa left, Allback spun Taricco, 10 yards out, poked shot at Keller.
78mins: SUB. Doherty for Kanoute.
80mins: YELLOW. Defoe for use of arm going up for header with Ridgewell.
86mins: SUB. Dublin for Crouch.
88mins: YELLOW. Sorensen for backchat to referee.
Injury time: SUB. Delaney for Solano.
Line-ups: Villa: Sorensen, Samuel, Mellberg, Barry, McCann, Solano (Delaney, 90), Hitzlsperger, De La Cruz, Crouch (Dublin, 86), Angel (Allback, 68), Ridgewell. Subs: Postma, Whittingham.
Spurs: Keller, Kelly (Ricketts, 70), Taricco, Richards, Gardner, Brown, Davies, Redknapp, Keane, Kanoute (Doherty, 78), Defoe. Subs: Bunjevcevic, Mabizela, Hirschfeld.
Referee: Neale Barry.