Harry Kane's hat trick worthy of a perfect 10 match rating vs. Burnley
After the horrible 4-1 defeat at Manchester City, Saturday's trip to Burnley looked fraught with danger -- many Tottenham supporters would have feared a low-scoring draw or worse against a side that started the weekend with the Premier League's joint-best defensive record.
Instead, positivity was quickly restored, as Mauricio Pochettino's side ran out convincing 3-0 winners at Turf Moor, with Harry Kane scoring all three goals.
The North Londoners broke the deadlock in the seventh minute when Dele Alli won a penalty, and though they initially squandered a number of opportunities to move out of sight, they eventually put the game to bed with goals in the 69th and 79th minutes.
It was possible to view last weekend's loss at the Etihad Stadium in two ways: as a sign that Spurs have problems or as an unusually difficult fixture that virtually every Premier League team will lose this season, with the only question being the margin.
It is easier to put that result into the second category now, after this impressive and encouraging victory at Turf Moor, where many teams have struggled this term.
Burnley had conceded only three goals in their previous nine home league matches, but Spurs put three past them on their own.
Kane was at his deadly best while Alli and Christian Eriksen were also lively, and at the other end, Tottenham kept a clean sheet, with Davinson Sanchez looking strong on his return.
Pochettino's side have jumped two places up to fifth -- just one point outside the top four -- and have a kind run of fixtures ahead.
Tottenham took a while to put the game to bed after having 18 shots, with eight on target. On another day, their profligacy could have been punished, while goal difference could become important later in the season.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Pochettino's decision to pair Eric Dier and Moussa Sissoko together in central midfield, leaving Mousa Dembele on the bench despite the absence of Harry Winks, could have backfired. But the early goal meant his team selection worked out well.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 7 -- Burnley managed only two attempts on target, but the Frenchman did well to cut out a first-half cross and then dive to palm the ball away from the bottom corner in the closing stages.
DF Serge Aurier, 7 -- Gifted the hosts a rare sight of goal when he lost the ball deep inside his own half at 1-0, but otherwise he defended well and should have had an assist after bursting through on goal and squaring one for Son Heung-min, who blazed over.
DF Davinson Sanchez, 8 -- Looked refreshed on his return from a three-match ban, using his pace and strength to good effect and taking no chances.
DF Jan Vertonghen, 8 -- Positioned himself well throughout, cutting out a particularly dangerous cross in the first half, to ensure Spurs kept a clean sheet.
DF Ben Davies, 5 -- Squandered a couple of good attacking opportunities by firing his cross over everyone's heads, and Burnley got in down his flank a few times.
MF Eric Dier, 7 -- Returned to the midfield and looks more effective there. He protected the defence quietly but effectively, taking no unnecessary risks and helping to keep his side on the front foot.
MF Moussa Sissoko, 6 -- Also played his part in shielding the defence, but having got clean through on goal in the first half, he should have scored.
MF Christian Eriksen, 7 -- Looked sharp. The Dane played a smart first-time pass forward to Kane from a Burnley clearance, started the break that led to Sissoko's big chance and set up an opportunity for Kane with a cross to the near post.
MF Dele Alli, 8 -- Made a rash, lunging tackle early on, getting a yellow card for the challenge. But he won the penalty for the early opening goal and then laid on Kane's third with a neat first-time pass. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
MF Son Heung-min, 6 -- Freed the overlapping Davies at the byline a couple of times and set up a chance for Eriksen in the second half but missed a sitter when Aurier teed him up.
FW Harry Kane, 10 -- Scored three times while going close on a few other occasions. Spurs' hitman also linked the play well when dropping into midfield and worked hard without the ball. It was he who won the ball deep in opposition territory in the buildup to his third goal. What more can you ask for?
MF Mousa Dembele, NR -- Replaced Son for the final 12 minutes
MF Erik Lamela, NR -- Came on in place of Dier late on but was unable to add to the scoreline
FW Fernando Llorente, NR -- Got a brief run-out as Alli was withdrawn for the final moments.
Ben is ESPN FC's Tottenham blogger. Follow on Twitter: @BenPearceSpurs.