For a large portion of Saturday's game with Manchester City, Spurs were going toe-to-toe with the Premier League champions on their own ground.
Eventually of course, the class of Sergio Aguero told, with the striker scoring all four of his side's goals, including two penalties, to seal what on paper could look like a comfortable win.
In contrast for Spurs, Roberto Soldado enjoyed a strong game with his link up play, but was some way short of offering the same goal threat as the Argentine.
Look a little deeper though and there is plenty of encouragement for Mauricio Pochettino and supporters of his side.
Two midfielders shone for the visitors, with Christian Eriksen responding to criticism from his national team boss to be arguably Tottenham's outstanding player.
However, the performance of Spurs graduate Ryan Mason also caught the eye, as the the 23-year-old shone in what is arguably the toughest place to visit in the country.
Mason was nowhere near the first team squad this May, finding himself out on another loan in League One with Swindon. But since coming into Pochettino's side against Nottingham Forest last month, he hasn't looked back, and against City he outperformed the superb David Silva in several statistical areas.
Below we look at the performances of the Spaniard alongside the Spurs midfielders.
|Team||Touches||Fwd Pass||Accurate Pass||Ground Duel Won||Total Tackle||Total Scoring Att||Interception||Mins|
|David Silva||Man City||50||11||30||3||1||0||0||70|
Eriksen and Mason were key performers for Spurs, influential for the visitors when it came to touches on the ball and forward passes. The young Englishman left the field with 20 minutes remaining, as did Silva, but still posted stats comparable to the Tottenham players that played 90 minutes, and streets ahead of Etienne Capoue and Erik Lamela, who came off 10 minutes earlier.
Despite playing a deeper role than Christian Eriksen, Mason found himself running onto several good scoring opportunities, a really encouraging sign for Pochettino. But it is the 23-year-old's work rate and ability to disrupt the opposition's play that stood out against City. Mason robbed the Manchester City midfield before feeding Soldado in the lead up to Eriksen's goal, and looks to possess a superb touch and ability to find his teammates in tight spaces.
In contrast, Silva completed fewer passes, especially with those in front of him, and offered far less in a defensive role than either Mason or Eriksen.
Of course, it would be a little bit of an overstatement to say Mason is on a par with the former Valencia star, but if nothing else it is further evidence that the Spurs man has plenty to offer at this level.