An own goal by Michael Keane proved the difference as Tottenham Hotspur beat visitors Everton 1-0 in a dour clash on Monday to move up to eighth in the standings and hand manager Jose Mourinho a 200th Premier League win.
Defeat would have dropped Spurs below the visitors into the bottom half of the table but they won fairly comfortably to stretch their unbeaten league run versus Everton to 15 games.
Midfielder Giovani Lo Celso thought he had scored his first Premier League goal for Tottenham in the 23rd minute but his shot on the turn took a decisive deflection off Keane to leave keeper Jordan Pickford with no chance.
Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris was hardly tested although he was involved in the night's flashpoint, having a furious row with team mate Son Heung-min as the players walked off at half-time.
Mourinho questioned his side's desire after a lacklustre 3-1 defeat by Sheffield United last week and there was nothing wrong with their application on Monday, even if it was hardly a performance to set the pulse racing.
What he could not have envisaged, however, was the sight of Lloris and Son being held apart by team mates, shortly after Everton's Richarlison had gone close to an equaliser for Carlo Ancelotti's side.
Lloris was clearly angry at Son not tracking back in the build-up for the Richarlison chance.
All was well at the end though as they hugged.
"What happened between me and Sonny is part of football sometimes. There's no problem. At the end of the game you could see we were more than happy," the Frenchman said.
Mourinho lauded the clash after the match and suggested they learned the passion from him.
"It's beautiful. It's probably as a consequence of our meetings," Mourinho told Sky Sports. "If you want to blame someone for that it's me. I was critical of my boys -- they were not critical enough with themselves. I asked them to be more demanding of each other.
"Son is an amazing kid, everybody likes Son but the captain told him you have to do more and give more to the team.
"It's something needed for the team to grow up - to grow up you need big personalities. When you have that reaction I had no doubts."
It at least provided a talking point in a game that for long periods felt like a training ground game.
The night's only goal rather summed it up. Son played the ball to Kane in a congested area and when his shot rebounded across to Lo Celso the Argentine's shot on the turn was heading wide before it hit Keane and nestled into the net.
Son was twice denied by Pickford in the second half and curled a shot wide while Lloris made a couple of comfortable saves as a dreary Everton failed to muster much of a response.