A debut goal from Mousa Dembele was not enough for ten-man Tottenham to earn all three points, after Tom Huddlestone was sent off late-on in a frustrating 1-1 draw with Norwich City at White Hart Lane.
The Belgian midfielder was introduced by Andre Villas-Boas after the break following a tepid first-half display from the hosts, who struggled to break down the Canaries.
Chris Hughton, on his return to the club he featured as both a player and assistant manager, named an attacking line-up, which proved fruitful as the visitors hit back late in the second half through the tireless Robert Snodgrass, and forced a number of impressive saves from home goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
Spurs dominated first-half possession without creating any real attacking threat, with the best two chances of the half falling to the visitors, as Bradley Johnson and Snodgrass both went close.
Aaron Lennon and Gylfi Sigurdsson looked the brightest going forward, but with Defoe deployed in a lone striker role, Tottenham struggled to take the initiative.
Sandro, playing in a deep-lying midfield role, made way for Dembele at half-time, and took little time to make his mark on the game, twisting and turning on the edge of the box to force some space, and fire a low left-footed shot past the helpless John Ruddy in the Norwich goal on 69 minutes.
Emmanuel Adebayor was also introduced as Spurs changed to a straight 4-4-2 formation having taken the lead, with Gareth Bale and Lennon swapping flanks in an attempt to push for a second goal.
But, in a frantic final ten minutes which saw the introduction of Huddlestone for Defoe, Norwich equalised after Anthony Pilkington's cross was nodded back by Russell Martin, for Snodgrass to hook home with a left-foot shot from 14 yards.
Then, to make matters worse, Spurs were reduced to ten men after referee Mark Halsey produced a straight red card for Huddlestone on 89 minutes, after he was adjudged to have committed a two-footed lunge on Canaries midfielder Johnny Howson.
The home side continued to press for a winner, often leaving themselves open at the back, but Norwich failed to capitalise on a late breakaway chance for Johnson.
At the final whistle, boos could be heard ringing around White Hart Lane after Tottenham drew their second consecutive home fixture 1-1, leaving them on two points after three games, and Villas-Boas sweating over another winless-start to his second job in the Premier League.