Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris shine at opposite ends as Spurs comfortably beat Southampton
Tottenham responded to their defeat in Sunday's North London derby by securing a routine 3-1 home win over struggling Southampton and climbing two places to third in the Premier League table.
Harry Kane gave Spurs the lead in the ninth minute and Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min then struck early in the second half to put the North Londoners out of sight.
The Saints' new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, who watched from the stands, will at least have been pleased to see that his side never gave in.
While the visitors were always second-best, they hit the woodwork three times and deserved their late consolation goal as Charlie Austin struck in injury time.
This was just what Tottenham needed after their exertions last week against Chelsea, Inter Milan and Arsenal -- a comfortable victory where they barely had to get out of third gear.
The fact that Kane, Lucas and Son all found the net bodes well given that Mauricio Pochettino will need to continue rotating throughout December.
It is an added bonus that Arsenal and Chelsea both dropped points. Having started the day outside the top four, Pochettino's side have now leapfrogged both of their London rivals.
Spurs' intensity dropped too far at times. They survived a couple of scares at 1-0 and really downed tools after going 3-0 up.
While that was understandable enough, captain Hugo Lloris looked far from impressed as he became busier, and it was no surprise when Southampton eventually denied their hosts a clean sheet.
Meanwhile Kieran Trippier, who was making his first start after returning from injury, was unable to complete the match. It remains to be seen what the issue is.
Manager Rating out of 10
7 -- Mauricio Pochettino's team selection made complete sense as he rested a handful of his overworked players while bringing in Harry Winks and Lucas and taking the opportunity to reintroduce Trippier and Danny Rose. This relatively stressless evening would have been exactly what he hoped for.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 8 -- Made a number of fine saves, touching Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's 25-yard strike onto the post, denying James Ward-Prowse at close range and then diving to palm Austin's deflected effort away from the bottom corner. He deserved a clean sheet.
DF Kieran Trippier, 8 -- An early header behind the Saints' defence created a chance for Son, who hit the post, and the right-back then did all the hard work for the South Korean's goal as he closed down Matt Targett and deflected the attempted clearance to Kane, who delivered the killer cross.
DF Juan Foyth, 6 -- Faced a limited Southampton side but was a little hesitant and passive at times.
DF Toby Alderweireld, 7 -- Not at his imperious best defensively but did well enough, and his long-range passing was excellent.
DF Danny Rose, 6 -- Made his first start since Oct. 6 and understandably looked short of fitness. Trippier was more effective on the other flank.
MF Eric Dier, 6 -- His raking long pass out to Trippier set up Son's early volleyed chance, but Southampton threatened around the edge of the box on a number of occasions and he was left behind by Austin, appealing in vain for an offside flag when the visitors grabbed their consolation goal.
MF Harry Winks, 7 -- Got plenty of time and space and predictably dictated the game. This was one of his easier outings.
MF Lucas Moura, 7 -- Bright around the box and took his goal well, reacting quickly as Southampton froze and driving the ball past Alex McCarthy.
MF Christian Eriksen, 8 -- Set up another goal after his assists against Chelsea and Arsenal, firing a low cross into the goalmouth to create Kane's early opener. The Dane also forced McCarthy into a save with a free kick, while his incisive passing helped to produce other opportunities.
MF Son Heung-min, 8 -- Hit the post with a smart volley before setting up a chance for Kane with a scything run through the middle and then testing McCarthy with a powerful strike. He is looking dangerous in every match and his goal was fully deserved.
FW Harry Kane, 8 -- Gave his side the early breakthrough with a poacher's finish and then laid on Son's strike too with a low cross. He will surely need a rest at some point but at the moment he keeps delivering.
MF Moussa Sissoko, N/R -- Replaced Lucas in the closing stages to provide fresh legs.
MF Dele Alli, N/R -- Entered the fray 11 minutes from time and led a couple of breaks.
MF Oliver Skipp, N/R -- The 18-year-old made his Premier League debut late on.