Gylfi Sigurdsson's late thunderbolt afforded Tim Sherwood some respite as Tottenham came from behind to beat Southampton 3-2.
A torrid four-game stretch, in which Tottenham crashed out of the UEFA Europa League and saw their Premier League top-four aspirations left in tatters as a result of defeats to Chelsea and bitter rivals Arsenal, preceded Southampton's visit to White Hart Lane.
That left all eyes on Sherwood, for whom happy memories of his first win at the helm – in the reverse meeting with Mauricio Pochettino's men – seemed increasingly distant.
The Tottenham head coach's misery was compounded in the early stages as two Kyle Naughton errors paved the way for Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana to put Southampton 2-0 ahead.
Yet Tottenham showed spirit thereafter and Christian Eriksen levelled matters with goals either side of half-time.
The turnaround was completed in the most dramatic fashion as, with two minutes of injury time to go, a powerful half-volley from Sigurdsson left Artur Boruc with no chance.
There were signs of life from Sherwood's men on Thursday as they threatened a stunning turnaround before ultimately losing 5-3 on aggregate to Benfica in Europe's secondary competition.
Yet any confidence gleaned from that performance was not in evidence during an open start as Tottenham afforded their opponents too much space – although that was not the contributing factor when the visitors were gifted an opener.
Naughton completely misjudged the simplest of headers from Boruc's goal kick, paving the way for Rodriguez to race clear and curl home his third goal in as many games.
Things quickly went from bad to worse for Naughton, too, as another failed clearance fell to Rickie Lambert, whose simple ball enabled Lallana to slot past Hugo Lloris.
Nathaniel Clyne then continued the theme of errors from right-backs, allowing Tottenham back into the game.
He completely fluffed his lines attempting to clear Nabil Bentaleb's cross and Eriksen was on hand to side-foot past Boruc.
The frenetic nature of the game showed no signs of halting before half-time as Rodriguez and Eriksen both spurned good chances.
A break did little to dull proceedings either, with Tottenham equalising within a minute of the restart.
Roberto Soldado stole the ball from Dejan Lovren on the right wing, cut inside and slid across to Eriksen – who made no mistake with the goal gaping.
Southampton completely lost their early verve as Tottenham piled forward with increased fluency in search of a third.
Nacer Chadli hit the side-netting, but it appeared as though a point would have to suffice for the outspoken Sherwood, only for Sigurdsson to win the game with a stunning intervention.
|23||C. Eriksen||31' 46'|
|Coach: T. Sherwood|
for M. Dembélé 46'
for A. Lennon 72'
|Bentaleb pens new long-term deal at Tottenham|
|Barca agree Turan deal|
|FIFA bans Mayne-Nicholls|
|United States v Honduras: Klinsmann demands improvement ahead of Gold Cup opener|
|CONCACAF institutes extensive reforms in wake of FIFA corruption scandal|
|Mauri completes Milan move|
|City sign Turkey striker|
|Women´s World Cup final draws huge US TV ratings|
|My first Chelsea team better than current crop - Drogba|
|Bertrand set for lay-off after knee surgery|
|New five-year Juve deal for Marchisio|
|Allegri extends Juve contract|
|Koeman reiterates Alderweireld interest|
|Valencia bag Bakkali|
|New York City FC complete Pirlo capture|
|Panama v Haiti: Collat ready to challenge the best of CONCACAF|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Harrison eyes TNS progression|
|FIFA sanctions Yemen for fielding ineligible player|
|Toulouse rubbish Ben Yedder exit reports|
|Mourinho ´knows what he´s doing´ with Falcao signing|
|Watford shell out club-record fee for Capoue|
|Braafheid signs Lazio extension|
|Nani finalises Fenerbahce move|
|Liverpool confirm O´Driscoll appointment|
|Liverpool have to start better - Lucas|
|USA simply too good - Sasaki|
|Portland Timbers 1 San Jose Earthquakes 0: Jewsbury wins it in stoppage time|
|No move yet for Van Persie|
|Lloyd wins Golden Ball, Silver Boot awards|
|Mascherano: I never grabbed Banega|
|Dunga requested Brazil not appeal Neymar´s suspension|
|United States 5 Japan 2: Lloyd stars with hat-trick|
|Fiorentina deny Inter criticism|
|Nani relishing Fenerbahce opportunity|
|Newcastle hold talks over Northampton youngster|
|Cuadrado´s agent plays down Chelsea exit rumours|
|Liverpool´s Alberto set for Deportivo loan|
|Leverkusen suffer surprise defeat, Stuttgart hit six|
|Inter ´dismayed´ at Fiorentina vice-president´s Salah Twitter outburst|
|Blaszczykowski ruled out of Dortmund´s Asia tour|
|Gerrard gets the beers in for LA Galaxy fans|
|De Gea coy over Real links|
|Former Brazil star Carlos handed Delhi reins|
|Ciftci will not push through Celtic switch – agent|
|In-demand Mitrovic considering Roma offer|
|Lehmann calls on Cech to ´get over´ Chelsea|
|Marlos double sinks Monaco|
|Mauritius 0 South Africa 2 (agg 0-5): Bafana set up Angola qualifier|
|Keane relishing Gerrard arrival|
|Palace confirm Cabaye interest|
|Hamburg bring in Spahic after head-butt ban|
|Blatter hits out at France and Germany over World Cup votes|
|Sanchez: World Cup exit spurred Chile to Copa glory|
|Jojic makes Cologne switch, Santana move falls through|
|Carrillo keen to get going at Monaco|
|Micronesia thrashed 38-0 as Fiji triumph in Olympic qualifier|
|Schalke stunned by ´machine´ Caicara|
|MLS Review: Keane shines at Gerrard´s Galaxy unveiling|
|Counter-attacking the key for Japan|
|Jimenez happy at Atletico|
|Gerrard predicts ´successful future´ with Galaxy|
|Iniesta can´t see Real selling Ramos|
|Keshi sacked as Nigeria coach|
|Three finals, three defeats for Messi, Mascherano|
|Nani close to Fenerbahce move|
|Sampaoli revels in ´unbelievable joy´|
|Bravo: Copa victory a dream|
|Martino: Argentina should have won|
|Chile 0 Argentina 0 (4-1 on penalties): Hosts end trophy drought|
|Germany 0 England 1 (after extra time): England make World Cup history|
|Kenya 0 Ethiopia 0 (agg 0-2): Hosts sent out of CHAN qualifiers after second penalty miss|
|Dortmund put 17 past Olympians, Bremen hand out thrashing|
|Dinamo Zagreb confirm arrests of coach and club president|
|I didn´t know who Wimbledon guest Klopp was - Brown|
|LeBron James backs Liverpool captain Henderson for FIFA 16 cover.|
|Ramos: I am not negotiating with anyone|
|Valencia complete Mina swoop|
|United States v Japan: US seek final redemption|
|Hanousek consigns Celtic to defeat|
|Roma confirm Dzeko interest|
|Arsenal forward Podolski completes Galatasaray switch|
|Warm Dortmund welcome delights Tuchel|
|Silva vows to fight for Madrid place|
|Mancini hints at Shaqiri and Santon departures|
|Bojan raring to go after return from injury|
|Babel backs Firmino to shine at Liverpool|
|Falcao must wait to impress, warns Chelsea favourite|
|Bartomeu: Deal in place for Turan|
|Parejo re-signs with Valencia|
|MLS Review: Sounders return to winning ways|
|Klinsmann unhappy with USA performance|
|High hopes for Paraguay - Diaz|
|Gareca: More to come from Peru|
|Gerrard had European offers|
|Argentina out to spoil Chile´s party - Martino|
|Sampaoli: Chile won´t change style|
|Di Maria will come good at United - Rojo|
|Peru 2 Paraguay 0: Gareca´s men finish third at Copa|
|United States 4 Guatemala 0: Klinsmann´s men win comfortably|
|´I’d prefer no-one to know my name´ - Bassett|