Roberto Soldado's first goal of 2013 handed Tim Sherwood's team the vital three points. The strike came just short of the half-hour mark.
Kyle Naughton reacted quickly to clear from a Cardiff attack to free Andros Townsend on the break. The winger charged into the opposition half and fed Emmanuel Adebayor, who promptly picked out Soldado's run into the centre of the penalty box.
The Spaniard controlled the ball in his stride and prodded it to the left of David Marshall.
Just two minutes later, the Bluebirds were almost level. Meeting Craig Bellamy's corner, former Spur Steven Caulker headed against the crossbar from just a couple of yards out.
Spurs summoned some attractive build-up play in the second half, but neither they nor the visitors created too much of note.
Substitute Harry Kane came closest for Spurs with a couple of minutes to spare of normal time. Cardiff sought an equaliser with a couple of late corners that saw goalkeeper Marshall venture forward without reward.
For now, here are some things we learned from Sunday's clash.