Nikica Jelavic scored his first goal for Everton as David Moyes celebrated his upcoming 10-year anniversary in charge by beating Tottenham.
On his full debut, Jelavic's first-time shot squeezed past Brad Friedel after Leon Osman's clever cutback.
Friedel also saved the striker's free-kick, while Rafael van der Vaart and Louis Saha hit the woodwork for Spurs.
The Londoners improved after the break but have now lost three league games in a row.
The last time that happened - in October 2008 - former boss Juande Ramos was replaced by current manager Harry Redknapp.
And after an encouraging season so far, during which Tottenham have been considered Premier League title contenders, this performance was evidence that they have a job on their hands to stay in the top four.
We battered them non-stop - Redknapp
When these two sides met previously on 11 January a Spurs win elevated them to within three points of the summit but since then they have only registered two wins from eight league games.
For Everton, though, this extended their unbeaten run to nine matches following that defeat at White Hart Lane and with Liverpool losing at Sunderland, the blue half of the city will be relishing Tuesday's Merseyside derby.
Moyes will have been in his post as Everton manager for 10 years the day after that game and, with speculation that he might take over from Redknapp should the 64-year-old be offered the England job, it was a timely reminder of the Scot's ability to engineer a hard-working, effective team on limited resources.
Spurs, who have spent heavily in recent seasons, have suffered a dip in form which has coincided with Redknapp being tipped to replace Fabio Capello.
His team of star names, with former Everton striker Saha on the bench, failed to create much before the break as the hosts took advantage of the visitors' deep midfield, which had Sandro sitting alongside Scott Parker.
Excluding blocked shots, Nikica Jelavic scored with his first shot at goal in Premier League football
In fact, it took 20 minutes before there was a meaningful chance, Friedel saving Marouane Fellaini's angled shot. But not long after the American keeper had warmed his hands, he was picking the ball out of the net.
Leighton Baines found Osman in the inside left channel and the midfielder's first touch took it past Younes Kaboul before he cleverly cut the ball back for Jelavic to side-foot in from 10 yards.
The former Rangers players also tested Friedel with a free-kick, but it was only after the goal that Redknapp's side came to life and it took until the second half before Tim Howard had anything to concern him, with Jermain Defoe twice firing in low shots.
Saha came on to replace Emmanuel Adebayor early in the second period, with Redknapp having already dismissed talk of a gentleman's agreement between the two managers that he would not play.
Moyes admits to fortune in victory
And the change came during an upsurge for Tottenham, as Luka Modric fired over and soon after Saha's effort was blocked by Sylvain Distin's face.
Outside of Osman's breakaway Everton rarely threatened and once Van der Vaart replaced Sandro, Redknapp had his full range of resources on the pitch.
Defoe had the ball in the net but it was rightly ruled out for offside, and Van der Vaart hit the bar late on.
Saha then almost earned a point in the dying stages when he hit the post from close range but Everton hung on, allowing Moyes to reflect that Jelavic is already proving an able replacement.
Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
Kyle Walker fouled by Denis Stracqualursi, the ref awards a free kick. Brad Friedel takes the direct free kick.
90:00 +4:18 Booking
Booking Tim Howard is given a yellow card.
Jermain Defoe produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.
Short corner taken by Luka Modric from the right by-line, Shot by Louis Saha from inside the penalty area hits the post.
Effort from 18 yards by Rafael Van der Vaart. Blocked by Phil Jagielka.
Leon Osman gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gareth Bale. Free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ledley King on Denis Stracqualursi. Marouane Fellaini restarts play with the free kick.
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Luka Modric, clearance made by Marouane Fellaini. Free kick awarded for a foul by Younes Kaboul on Johnny Heitinga. Tim Howard restarts play with the free kick.
Luka Modric takes a shot. Blocked by Sylvain Distin.
Substitution Jake Livermore comes on in place of Scott Parker.
Outswinging corner taken by Luka Modric from the right by-line.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tim Cahill by Younes Kaboul. Tim Howard takes the direct free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Leighton Baines by Louis Saha. Free kick taken by Tim Howard.
Substitution Phil Jagielka is brought on as a substitute for Seamus Coleman.
The ball is crossed by Gareth Bale, Close range headed effort by Ledley King misses to the right of the goal.
Booking Johnny Heitinga is cautioned.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jermain Defoe by Johnny Heitinga.
Substitution Nikica Jelavic goes off and Denis Stracqualursi comes on.
Jack Rodwell concedes a free kick for a foul on Jermain Defoe. Direct free kick taken by Rafael Van der Vaart.
The referee blows for offside. Tim Howard takes the free kick.
Phil Neville concedes a free kick for a foul on Scott Parker. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Rafael Van der Vaart, Sylvain Distin makes a clearance.
The offside flag is raised against Jack Rodwell. Brad Friedel takes the indirect free kick.
Leon Osman takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
Louis Saha takes a shot. Sylvain Distin gets a block in.
Substitution Raniere Sandro goes off and Rafael Van der Vaart comes on.
Jermain Defoe has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Tim Cahill on Ledley King. Free kick taken by Ledley King.
The referee blows for offside against Louis Saha. Tim Howard takes the indirect free kick.
Substitution Jack Rodwell comes on in place of Royston Drenthe.
Raniere Sandro fouled by Seamus Coleman, the ref awards a free kick. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Younes Kaboul.
Booking Jermain Defoe booked.
Foul by Jermain Defoe on Johnny Heitinga, free kick awarded. Johnny Heitinga takes the direct free kick.
Free kick crossed by Royston Drenthe, Raniere Sandro manages to make a clearance.
Booking Benoit Assou-Ekotto receives a yellow card.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Benoit Assou-Ekotto on Royston Drenthe.
Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Johnny Heitinga gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken by Gareth Bale from the right by-line.
The referee blows for offside against Royston Drenthe. Brad Friedel takes the free kick.
Effort on goal by Luka Modric from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
Corner taken by Luka Modric from the left by-line, Raniere Sandro has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.
Substitution Louis Saha is brought on as a substitute for Emmanuel Adebayor.
Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Tim Howard makes a save.
Effort on goal by Jermain Defoe from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
Emmanuel Adebayor gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Johnny Heitinga. Tim Howard takes the free kick.
Luka Modric takes a shot. Sylvain Distin gets a block in.
Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Save by Tim Howard. Gareth Bale takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Younes Kaboul takes a shot.
The referee starts the second half.
45:00 +1:08 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.
Luka Modric takes a outswinging corner to the near post, save made by Tim Howard.
Foul by Johnny Heitinga on Jermain Defoe, free kick awarded. Gareth Bale crosses the ball in from the free kick, Leighton Baines gets a block in.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Tim Cahill on Scott Parker. Benoit Assou-Ekotto takes the free kick.
Gareth Bale takes a shot. Save by Tim Howard.
Handball decision goes against Royston Drenthe. Direct free kick taken by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Raniere Sandro challenges Seamus Coleman unfairly and gives away a free kick. Nikica Jelavic fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, save made by Brad Friedel.
Shot by Luka Modric. Save by Tim Howard.
Emmanuel Adebayor takes a shot. Blocked by Johnny Heitinga.
Tim Cahill concedes a free kick for a foul on Scott Parker. Gareth Bale has an effort direct from the free kick.
Nikica Jelavic challenges Raniere Sandro unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
Shot from 35 yards by Gareth Bale went wide of the right-hand upright.
Royston Drenthe takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
Assist on the goal came from Leon Osman.
21:35 Goal scored
Goal! - Nikica Jelavic - Everton 1 - 0 Tottenham Nikica Jelavic scores a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Everton 1-0 Tottenham.
Marouane Fellaini takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tim Cahill by Raniere Sandro. Free kick taken by Leighton Baines.
Leighton Baines takes a shot. Younes Kaboul gets a block in.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Royston Drenthe. Royston Drenthe delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Gareth Bale makes a clearance.
Jermain Defoe has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
Seamus Coleman takes a shot. Scott Parker gets a block in.
Tim Cahill concedes a free kick for a foul on Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Direct free kick taken by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Jermain Defoe concedes a free kick for a foul on Johnny Heitinga. Free kick taken by Johnny Heitinga.
Leighton Baines is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
Unfair challenge on Luka Modric by Leon Osman results in a free kick. Luka Modric restarts play with the free kick.
Seamus Coleman produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.
Gareth Bale takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Tim Cahill makes a clearance.
Gareth Bale produces a cross, clearance made by Sylvain Distin.
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