But he was part of a Tottenham midfield that completely dominated Liverpool's.
Even before Modric scored, Kenny Dalglish's team were lucky to still be level after Adebayor stabbed wide on three minutes from Niko Kranjcar's flick through.
DID YOU KNOW?
This match was the 49th game in Premier League history in which a team had two men dismissed. Source: Opta
Liverpool's regular right-backs Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly were both out injured and stand-in Skrtel struggled to contain Gareth Bale.
The Welshman got in behind the Slovak four times in the first 15 minutes, with Adam and Skrtel both booked for tackles on the winger.
Liverpool thought they were level on 18 minutes when Adam's header bounced around the edge of the area and landed at Andy Carroll's feet.
The England striker slipped it through to Luis Suarez, who toe-poked home, only to be flagged offside.
Sebastian Coates made his debut on 27 minutes, replacing Daniel Agger who was injured during the scramble for Modric's goal.
Dalglish won't discuss red cards
But one minute later, Adam was sent off by referee Mike Jones after a second yellow card for catching Scott Parker above the knee 25 yards out.
It was reminiscent of Adam's tackle on Bale when
playing for Blackpool last May
, which left the Tottenham man out for the season with a ruptured ankle ligament.
Coates' first significant moment in a Reds shirt was hauling down Adebayor 25 yards out, resulting in a yellow card.
Liverpool's frustration showed as Luis Suarez was booked for sarcastically applauding the assistant referee on half-time.
Things got even worse after the restart however.
Tottenham continued to have the best of the chances, with Skrtel falling over 10 minutes into the second half, allowing Defoe to set up Adebayor but the former Arsenal man finished poorly, side-footing to Jose Reina.
Skrtel then saw red after going through the back of Bale and moments later Defoe turned Jose Enrique and fired home his third of the season on 65 minutes.
Two minutes later, Reina failed to hold a shot from Defoe and Adebayor followed in to make it three.
The Togo forward completed his home debut with a second from the final kick of the match, lashing past Reina from close range.
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