Stoke players celebrate ending Spurs long six-match winning streak
Tottenham's six-match winning streak came to an end as Matthew Etherington scored twice against his old club to hand Stoke a third straight league win, while Martin O’Neil kicked off his Sunderland reign with a come from behind 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers.
At the Britannia Stadium, one of four former Spurs players to feature for the hosts, Etherington tapped in to open the scoring.
He doubled the lead with a scuffed strike from Ryan Shotton's long throw before Emmanuel Adebayor converted a penalty after a foul on Luka Modric.
Tottenham pushed for an equaliser but faded once Younes Kaboul was sent off.
The defeat finishes their 11-match unbeaten run and leaved them five points behind second-place Manchester United, although they do still have a game in hand.
While Spurs won on their previous two league trips to the Britannia, Stoke knocked them out of this season's Carling Cup and it was they who made the more purposeful start.
There was no place in the team for Rory Delap but long-throw duties fell to Ryan Shotton and he proved a highly able deputy.
Only 37 seconds were on the clock when his looping delivery was cleared to Etherington and the 30-year-old's volley drew a diving save from Brad Friedel.
Tottenham were struggling to get out of their own half amid unrelenting Stoke pressure and Shotton, in particular, was proving a constant menace.
He dragged a shot wide after robbing Benoit Assou-Ekotto of possession and then troubled Spurs with another two looping throws.
Clearly aware of their opponents' strength in central midfield - where Scott Parker, Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart have formed one of the league's more fearsome trios - Stoke looked to attack from wide areas at every opportunity.
The tactic paid off when Shotton's cross was flicked by Jon Walters to Peter Crouch and he held off William Gallas before turning the ball through Friedel's legs from a tight angle for Etherington to slam into an empty net.
Replays suggested Crouch may have handled in the build-up, but Stoke deserved their reward for a high-tempo approach that caught Tottenham off guard.
The visitors finally gained an element of control - Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale swapped wings while Modric took greater responsibility - but it was not until Thomas Sorensen saved easily from Van der Vaart on 24 minutes that they managed an attempt on goal.
Sorensen was at full stretch to palm a fizzing Modric drive round the post and gathered comfortably after a turn and shot by the ineffectual Emmanuel Adebayor.
Stoke worked tirelessly to maintain their advantage before going in search of a second before half-time, and it duly arrived when the latest Shotton long throw was worked on by Walters and Etherington arrived at the back post to scuff a volley past Friedel.
Of the 21 previous Premier League games that Stoke had led by two goals, only once had - against Wolves in October 2009 - had they not won.
And they started the second half as if desperate to extend that record, harrying all over the pitch and Tottenham were push firmly on to the back foot.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp had replaced Assou-Ekotto and Lennon with Sebastien Bassong and Jermain Defoe at the break, switching his formation from 4-4-1-1 to 3-5-1-2, and the move was soon vindicated.
An unmarked Bassong headed over from Modric's corner, Defoe fired over, Ryan Shawcross cleared Bale's cross with a last-ditch header and Parker narrowly failed to connect with Kyle Walker's pinpoint centre.
Their superiority finally told when Glenn Whelan tripped Modric in the box and Adebayor wrong-footed Sorensen from the spot.