The recalled Askan Dejagah’s goal 11 minutes into the second half put Fulham within sight of a winning start to Rene Meulensteen’s reign.
After Michael Dawson gave the ball away cheaply, Dimitar Berbatov swept a glorious pass out to the waiting Dejagah and the Iranian took a touch before firing into the bottom corner.
Berbatov, also restored to the starting line-up by new boss Meulensteen, had two chances in a frenetic first half.
During a lively opening at Craven Cottage, Jermain Defoe, in the Tottenham starting line-up for only the second time this season, had an early shot from the edge of the penalty area well saved by Maarten Stekelenburg.
Spurs then had to withstand a spell of pressure and their former striker Berbatov, keen to move in January according to his agent, mis-controlled after being put through by Alex Kacaniklic, enabling keeper Hugo Lloris to gather the ball.
Berbatov’s inclusion was one of seven changes made by Meulensteen.
In came the likes of Giorgos Karagounis, who had a stinging shot saved by Lloris, Dejagah and Philippe Senderos, while John Arne Riise – an outcast under sacked manager Martin Jol – was given his first start since August.
The new-look team started well and another opportunity fell to Berbatov when he was found by Pajtim Kasami’s cross, but he was denied at point-blank range by Lloris’ fine save.
Fulham, who lost five matches in a row prior to Jol’s departure, again went close to scoring when an unchallenged Dejagah headed over from Karagounis’ left-wing corner.
Spurs remained a threat on the counter attack, with Paulinho and Erik Lamela both missing the target after being teed up by Defoe.
Lamela then forced an excellent 41st-minute stop from Stekelenburg, who pushed over his 25-yard drive.
But the visitors faded after the break and Fulham took full advantage.
Fulham: Stekelenburg, Riether, Hughes, Senderos, Riise, Karagounis (Sidwell 61), Parker, Kasami, Dejagah, Kacaniklic, Berbatov.
Subs: Ruiz, Stockdale, Duff, Taarabt, Zverotic, Boateng.