Gareth Barry's superb strike spared Juan Pablo Angel's blushes as Aston Villa snatched a point from under the noses of 10-man Tottenham.
Barry celebrates his sublime equaliser late on
Angel first blasted a penalty wide after Calum Davenport had seen red for fouling Gabriel Agbonlahor in the box.
The Colombian's day got worse when he headed into his own net from Jermaine Jenas' corner with 15 minutes to go.
However, Barry secured Villa a point with a superb curled 20-yard strike five minutes later.
The midfielder gave keeper Paul Robinson no chance with a sublime effort that put a seal on a frantic last quarter of an hour.
And Villa should have won it in the dying minutes, only for Robinson to expertly tip over from Angel's drive from 12 yards.
A defeat would have been harsh on Spurs though after the Londoners had dominated most of the affair.
Jermain Defoe forced the first effort on goal after a tight opening, bringing a smart save from Stuart Taylor from 20 yards, before Robinson easily stopped from Juan Pablo Angel at the other end after good work by Milan Baros.
Davenport is distraught as he is sent from the field late on
From then, only Spurs' profligacy prevented them taking a deserved lead.
First, Michael Dawson somehow headed onto the foot of the post from two yards after Jenas had flicked on Danny Murphy's free-kick, and then Hossam Ghaly fired onto the post from a tight angle after another Murphy set-piece.
Tottenham had settled nicely and they were enjoying - but wasting - all the chances, Defoe and then Jenas both bringing Taylor into action again from range towards the end of the half.
But, against the run of play, Baros strode clear of Davenport into the Tottenham box seconds before half-time, only to kick the turf as he was about to pull the trigger.
The chance only served to remind Spurs that their domination counted for little without goals, and when Dawson left the field with concussion for the second game in succession just after half-time, all of a sudden the visitors looked vulnerable.
Villa were reinvigorated and, after Barry had drilled harmlessly wide from range, Gavin McCann fired over when well-placed after a decent home move.
Aaron Lennon was introduced with 25 minutes remaining for his first Spurs appearance since 26 August, but he was merely a passenger as the game exploded into life with 15 minutes remaining, with Angel centre-stage.
Davenport started the ball rolling when he was adjudged to have felled Agbonlahor in the box after the youngster had been put through by Barry.
He was sent off, but Angel blasted the spot-kick wide before inexplicably heading into his own net from Jenas' tame corner.
Tottenham looked set to grab a deserved win despite being a man down, but they reckoned without Barry's intervention.
There appeared to be little danger when the midfielder strode inside from the left, but he unleashed an unstoppable drive from 20 yards that curled delightfully into the top corner.
The last 10 minutes was all Villa but Robinson prevented them snatching the win with a fine save from Angel late on as Spurs grabbed their first away point of the season.
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill:
"I'm not sure if we've just snatched a draw or let three points slip.
"To be fair, I thought Tottenham played really well in the first half and we struggled to get into our game.
"It was possibly the worst we've played under me, but credit to the players because they've responded to going a goal down fantastically and got a deserved point."
Tottenham manager Martin Jol:
"I'm not so sure it was a penalty to be honest, but I can't complain because he has gone and missed it.
"We had the chances to win the game, especially in the first half.
"But, with the problems we had defensively and the fact that we had to reshuffle twice during the game, sometimes you have to be satisfied with a point."
Aston Villa: Taylor, Hughes, Mellberg, Ridgewell, Barry, Agbonlahor, McCann, Petrov, Davis (Berger 77), Angel, Baros (Agathe 65).
Subs Not Used: Olejnik, Laursen, Bouma.
Goals: Barry 81.
Tottenham: Robinson, Chimbonda, Dawson (Stalteri 52), Davenport, Assou-Ekotto, Jenas, Zokora, Murphy, Ghaly (Lennon 59), Berbatov (Davids 77), Defoe.
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Keane.
Sent Off: Davenport (73).
Goals: Angel 76 og.
Ref: M Atkinson (W Yorkshire).