(CNN) -- Jermain Defoe scored his first goal since returning to Tottenham from Portsmouth to deny his former club victory in a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane, a result that lifts Harry Redknapp's side off the bottom of the Premier League.
Jermain Defoe celebrates his equalizing goal against former club Portsmouth in a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Apart from vital points at stake in the congested battle to avoid relegation at the foot of the table, Sunday's match had extra spice with plenty of former friends and foes in competition once again.
For the home side, there was Redknapp, who left Portsmouth 84 days ago to join Spurs, and Defoe -- who followed him this month just a year after making the move in the opposite direction.
For the visiors, there was Tony Adams, Redknapp's former assistant and a legend at hated north London rivals Arsenal, as well as former Spurs captain Sol Campbell, who was the subject of racist and homophobic chants in the teams' first match earlier this season from supporters still angry at his move to Arsenal eight years ago.
On the pitch, visiting striker David Nugent wasted Portsmouth's best opportunity of the first-half when he failed to beat goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes after being put clean through.
However, Nugent made amends just before the hour mark when his long-range drive took a slight deflection off Gareth Bale before nestling in the bottom corner of the net.
With 20 minutes remaining, Defoe inevitably levelled with an angled drive that went through Campbell's legs and beat England goalkeeper David James.
Tottenham should have secured all three points 10 minutes from time when David Bentley found fellow-substitute Darren Bent unmarked at the far post, but his header went horribly wide from just four yards out.
The point lifts Tottenham out of the relegation zone into 16th place, but such is the tight nature of the table that the bottom five are all level on 21 points, with West Bromwich Albion occupying last place by virtue of goal difference.
In the day's other match, improving West Ham moved up to eighth place in the table with a 3-1 home victory over London rivals Fulham.
The Hammers omitted leading striker Craig Bellamy from their starting line-up, fuelling speculation that the Welsh international will be on the move this month with both Tottenham and Manchester City reported to be keen on recruiting him.
However, the home side coped with Bellamy's absence superbly, taking the lead through David Di Michele in the seventh minute after some poor defending from former West Ham defender John Pantsil.
West Ham led for 15 minutes until Paul Konchesky, a former West Ham hero who scored for them in the 2006 FA Cup final against Liverpool, levelled with a superb 30-meter volley.
It was Konchesky's mistake which saw West Ham take the lead again on the hour mark, his clumsy tackle on Carlton Cole in the area resulted in a penalty which was converted by Mark Noble.
Cole secured victory 14 minutes from time when he calmly slotted home Di Michele's pass after Fulham had lost possession on the half-way line.