It just gets worse for Charlton. Deflated by the departure of Scott Parker, they were undone by another player to leave the Valley unhappy. Jermain Defoe was vociferously booed on his return to the club he quit to further his ambitions (familiar that) but constructed one goal and scored another as Spurs ended a run of five London derby defeats.
To add to Charlton's woes, two goals were the result of errors by Paul Konchesky, on loan to Spurs last autumn as he also sought a move. Inevitably the third was gifted by another former Spurs player. There were even claims that Defoe's goal came off his hand, not his head. Oh, and Charlton hit the woodwork twice. It never rains...
Defoe's latest move may have netted more cash for Alan Curbishley through a sell-on clause, but he felt fleeced. "We never got the rub of the green," the Charlton manager said rather half-heartedly. He now has a large transfer kitty. On this evidence, it is needed. "Our dressing-room is very down," he admitted.
For Spurs it was another goalfest: astonishingly, 20 in the last three games. But the win was hugely restorative. "I'm delighted, absolutely thrilled," said the caretaker manager, David Pleat, painting a colourful picture of the last week. "We've gone through every emotion." That drama has overshadowed what was a fifth win in six games.
Charlton attempted a more muscular approach, but they were quickly undone by their opponents' directness. Defoe thumped an ambitious crossfield ball as Spurs broke from a corner but it fell woefully short. Konchesky's disorientated header, however, dropped even shorter and the impressive Simon Davies, Defoe's intended target, collected the ball to drive powerfully past Dean Kiely. To add insult, the shot deflected off a desperate Konchesky. "A shocker," Curbishley said.
Crucially, Kasey Keller diverted a fierce, angled drive from the substitute Graham Stuart on to a post and, almost immediately, Spurs countered at speed. This time it was Davies providing. His low cross was pushed into the path of Defoe by the hapless Konchesky and although Kiely parried smartly, the ball struck Defoe and rebounded in. Konchesky sought redemption. He charged forward to set up Carlton Cole, only for the striker's shot to come back off the bar.
Charlton were undone again just 39 seconds after the break. "I had asked for just five minutes with no mayhem," Curbishley said. Instead he got chaos. Robbie Keane rolled Chris Perry and as the defender struggled to clear, the ball ran to Ledley King who poked it beyond Kiely.
Stuart provided some relief. From another corner his low shot found a way through. Again the defending was questionable. And Spurs appeared to dissolve. The cry from the home fans was inevitable: "We're going to win 4-3." And, inevitably, they got another. Spurs, too deep, allowed Perry to head in easily.
The nerves were raw now but Charlton lacked real belief. Their drive was illusory. And it quickly passed. John Jackson's swerving shot on the run - his first goal for Spurs - extinguished hope.
Charlton Athletic (4-4-2): Kiely 6; Young 5, Fish 4, Perry 4, Hreidarsson 4; Kishishev 5 (Stuart 6, 33), Holland 4, Jensen 4, Konchesky 3; Bartlett 4 (Di Canio 5, 55) Cole 4. (Euell 5, 71) Substitutes not used: Royce (gk), Euell, Di Canio, Fortune.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Keller 6; Carr 5, Doherty 6, Richards 4, Taricco 4; Davies 8, King 5, Brown 6, Jackson 5; Keane 7, Defoe 7 (Poyet, 85). Substitutes not used: Burch (gk), Bunjevcevic, Dalmat, Barnard.
Referee: G Barber (Tring) 6.Reuse content