It was a strong start from the visitors as Stoke uncharacteristically pressed Tottenham fiercely, putting the home side under severe pressure and penning them back inside their own half for extended periods, but the Potters were unable to fashion any clear chances from their advantage.
After the early Stoke bombardment, Tottenham regrouped and began to impose themselves on the game. Much like Stoke, they struggled to create much, but Gareth Bale was in fine form on his return from injury and made the best chance of the half for Emmanuel Adebayor, curling a fine cross to the back post, but the Togolese forward sent in a poor header and the chance was gone.
The second half saw little change from the first as both sides were caught in a midfield mire, although there were limited chances for both teams - first Jermain Defoe went on a typical run before blazing over from outside the area, and then Ryan Shawcross sent an awkward header wide.
Tottenham were struggling to break through Stoke's massed centre and had to resort to wing play to get at the visitors, but despite some fine deliveries, poor heading let them down. Gareth Bale was another culprit, getting on the end of Aaron Lennon's cross but making a hash of his back-post header.
The late introduction of Scott Parker, who is now back to full fitness, failed to give Spurs anything as the final score of 0-0 was a fair reflection on both the game as a spectacle and the efforts of both sides. Tottenham appear to be developing a weakness in attacking play - they lack fluidity and desperately lack match-winners if Gareth Bale or Jermaine Defoe cannot produce something special. Despite the return of what is probably their first-choice midfield, they appeared clunky and disjointed. They will need to move in January if they are to look like a proper Champions League club, but it's difficult to see precisely where they need to upgrade.