Premier League - Adebayor downs West Brom
Youssouf Mulumbu headed the Baggies in front after just 10 minutes, only for Adebayor to level for Spurs midway through the first half, scuffing in the rebound after seeing his penalty saved,
The second half saw plenty of chances at both ends before Defoe hit his sixth goal of the season and Adebayor bagged an injury-time second to claim Tottenham's 100th away win in the Premier League.
The win puts Spurs alone in third, two points clear of Newcastle following their draw at Old Trafford. The two Manchester clubs are the only two sides above them in the table, and also the only two to beat Spurs in the league this season.
West Brom more than played their part in an enthralling, end-to-end encounter, but ultimately their reward is a third defeat in four games that sees them slip further down the table.
Sandro came into the Tottenham midfield in place of the unwell Luka Modric, and the Brazilian had a sixth-minute shot from range spilled by goalkeeper Ben Foster, who was fortunate to see the ball trickle wide for a corner rather than into his own net.
After that early scare, West Brom took the lead. Zoltan Gera's industry saw him win the ball near the corner flag and hook it back to Steven Reid. The Baggies right-back whipped in an inviting cross which Mulumbu glanced past Brad Friedel for his first goal of the season.
That was to be Gera's last contribution of the match, as soon afterwards the Hungarian twisted awkwardly after being sold a sold a dummy be Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Gera, who had only made his first appearance of the season earlier in November after recovering from injury, eventually got to his feet, but he limped off the field to be replaced by Simon Cox.
The Togolese's poor effort from 12 yards was saved by Foster, but Adebayor reacted quickest after his first ever penalty miss in the Premier League to bundle home the rebound.
The second half saw two teams both full of belief that they could go on and win the game, and as such there were several breathless periods as play went from end to end.
Adebayor stung the palms of Foster, only for Cox to have a header saved by Friedel. Defoe had a shot from a tight angle cleared off the line by Reid, only for Mulumbu to be denied by the backtracking Sandro.
Defoe settled the visitors' nerves on 81 minutes when a neat flick inside from Adebayor sent the England striker bombing through the centre of the pitch. West Brom's defenders backed off him, and he accepted their invitation with a low drive from 18 yards that flew into the top corner.
Spurs had several more chances to increase their lead before finally doing so in stoppage time when Younes Kaboul's long clearance fell to Bale. The Welshman held the ball up for squaring to Adebayor for the simplest of finishes for his seventh goal in 10 games for Tottenham.