Aaron Lennon kept Tottenham's Champions League challenge alive as his side came from behind to win at Sunderland 2-1 on Saturday.
However, Carlos Cuellar's own goal three minutes after the restart gave the visitors a foothold, and they took full advantage with 51 minutes gone when Lennon sped through to beat keeper Simon Mignolet.
Had it not been for the Belgian's excellence, Jermain Defoe would have wrapped up the points on the hour with a shot from point-blank range that looked destined to end up in the back of the net, and he also kept out Adebayor's late effort after a creative backward pass from substitute Clint Dempsey.
Gareth Bale will miss the New Year's Day game against Reading after referee Martin Atkinson gave him a yellow card for diving. It is Bale's fifth booking of the season, with three of those handed out for diving.
Martin O'Neill's side battled manfully for a way back into the game, but Spurs held out with little difficulty to claim a second successive Premier League win on the road.
Aston Villa's miserable recent run continued as it suffered another thumping defeat, 3-0 at home to Wigan.
Villa would have fallen into the bottom three were it not for a superb comeback from 10-man Stoke.
But Cameron Jerome popped up in stoppage time to make it 3-3 and earn the hosts a point from a breathless encounter.
Swansea's impressive campaign continued with a 2-1 win at Fulham.