After an enterprising start, the visitors got their reward and took the lead through Bobby Zamora after a through ball from Alejandro Faurlin on the edge of the box saw the one-time Tottenham striker deftly finish to stun the home supporters.
While Tottenham struggled to fashion any clear-cut openings in the first half, Spurs were different altogether in the second half, and they grabbed two goals in quick succession. A Faurlin own goal brought them level before Jermain Defoe put them ahead by tapping home from six yards out after a fantastic break for the eventual winner.
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas restored Brad Friedel to the starting lineup after handing Hugo Lloris his debut against Lazio in the UEFA Europa League, and Clint Dempsey was handed his first league start for his new club with Gareth Bale stationed behind him at left back.
The hosts had the first chance of the match when Aaron Lennon managed to get in behind the QPR defense down the right before cutting back a neat ball to Defoe, but their penalty appeals were waved away after Clint Hill went in hard on the England striker.
Moments later, Hill forced good save out of Friedel at the other end after meeting Esteban Granero's corner well to turn a thumping header towards goal, but the 41-year-old American managed to get a strong hand to it to force it over the bar.
With the visitors beginning to come into the game more and more, Kyle Walker got caught under a high ball into the box at the back post, only to see Hoilett bring another fabulous stop out of Freidel after unleashing a fierce volley on goal, which the veteran goalkeeper proved more than equal to.
Tottenham then saw a goal correctly ruled out for offside just before the half-hour mark, with Defoe latching on to Bale's through ball before playing it across the box for the Welshman to tap home from six yards out.
Zamora broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute, latching on to Faurlin's superb reverse pass into the box from the edge of the area, before showing good composure to lift it past the onrushing Friedel.
Villas-Boas made major tactical changes for the second half, bringing on Steven Caulker for Gylfi Sigurdsson, which saw Bale moved to the left wing, Jan Vertonghen to left back and Dempsey pushed inside to support the lone striker.
These changes saw the home side find their shape, and after Dempsey managed to turn Granero on the center circle, he had a powerful strike from distance well saved by the unorthodox technique of Julio Cesar.
Tottneham didn't have to wait too much longer for the equalizer, Faurlin putting the ball into his own net after some concerted Tottenham pressure from a corner in the 59th minute.
This seemed to open the floodgates, and just 90 seconds later Defoe finished off a terrific breakaway move which saw Vertonghen surge up the pitch with the ball before laying it off to Bale on the left of the box. He had his drive tipped onto the bar by Julio Cesar, but Defoe was there to tap home into the empty net to complete a dramatic turnaround.
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