Portsmouth's reappointment of Harry Redknapp as their manager failed to produce an immediate dividend as Tottenham came from behind to win.
Lomana Tresor LuaLua gave Pompey a first-half lead, hitting an unstoppable shot past Paul Robinson.
Spurs pulled level when Ledley King rose to head home from a corner and after Gary O'Neil's handball, Mido sidefooted home an 85th minute penalty.
Substitute Jermain Defoe wrapped up the win, scoring from a difficult angle.
The win moved Spurs three points clear of fifth-placed Bolton.
At the other end of the table things look bleak for Portsmouth, who remain second from bottom, six points behind 17th-placed West Brom.
On the plus side Portsmouth showed plenty of grit, a quality they will need to reproduce if they are to clamber out of the relegation zone.
Redknapp deployed Vincent Pericard as a lone striker, but playing for the first time in the Premiership this season, he found the role hard work.
Pericard's inability to hold up the ball in those opening stages saw the Portsmouth defence come under sustained pressure.
Yong-Pyo Lee's pass exposed a yawning gap in the Portsmouth defence to find Robbie Keane, but he shot straight at Jamie Ashdown.
Edgar Davids was the next Spurs player to probe the space between Andy O'Brien and Linvoy Primus, his clever pass freeing Mido, who also shot directly at Ashdown.
Ashdown's best save of the first half came when Keane threatened for a second time.
The Portsmouth keeper did well to stand up to Keane, taking the sting out of the Irishman's attempted lob, and Dejan Stefanovic was able to clear the ball.
Completely against the run of the play LuaLua put Portsmouth in front with a stunning individual effort.
There had seemed no danger when O'Neil hit a speculative pass into the Spurs half.
But Lee, under pressure from LuaLua, was unable to clear and after the ball bounced the Portsmouth forward struck a fierce shot that zipped past a startled Robinson.
The goal served to instil more confidence in Portsmouth and for the first time Pericard threatened, striding into the Spurs area before he was crowded out.
Early in the second half Ashdown came under renewed pressure from a couple of set pieces and he did well to twice punch on both occasions.
But Ashdown could do nothing about the Spurs equaliser when King rose to steer a header past the Portsmouth goalkeeper.
Soon afterwards Robinson showed superb reactions to palm away Matthew Taylor's first-time shot.
With just five minutes remaining O'Neil jumped in an attempt to block Andy Reid's free-kick and referee Uriah Rennie immediately awarded a penalty.
Ashdown got a hand to Mido's shot, but the Egyptian striker's effort had too much power for the Portsmouth keeper.
Defoe heaped further misery on Portsmouth, driving the ball past Ashdown from a difficult angle.
Tottenham: Robinson, Stalteri, Dawson, King, Lee, Jenas, Carrick, Davids, Tainio (Routledge 40), Keane (Defoe 69), Mido, Routledge (Reid 83).
Subs Not Used: Kelly, Cerny.
Goals: King 57, Mido 85 pen, Defoe 90.
Portsmouth: Ashdown, Primus, O'Brien, Stefanovic, Griffin, O'Neil, Viafara, Hughes, Taylor (Robert 86), Pericard, LuaLua.
Subs Not Used: Priske, Todorov, Cisse, Westerveld.
Goals: LuaLua 24.
Ref: U Rennie (S Yorkshire).