Antonio Conte's 100% record at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium marches on after Tottenham Hotspur beat newly promoted Norwich City comfortably on Sunday afternoon, with Lucas Moura scoring the pick of the goals.
The Brazilian evaded a number of challenges on the edge of the box before powering a sumptuous strike into the top corner with just 10 minutes gone. Spurs extended their advantage in the second-half thanks to strikes from Davinson Sanchez and Heung-min Son.
Story of the game
Conte made just one change to the side that comfortably beat Brentford last time out, with academy graduate Japhet Tanganga replacing Emerson at wing-back to take the total number of former Hotspur Way prospects in the starting 11 up to three.
There were three adjustments to the Norwich side that drew in the crunch match with Newcastle last weekend, with Smith apparently reverting to a five-at-the-back formation as Andrew Omobamidele, Pierre Lees-Melou and Adam Idah all coming in as Lukas Rupp, Josh Sargent and Chritos Tzolis dropped to the bench, the Canaries themselves featuring three academy graduates in their starting line-up.
The visitors started the brighter of the two sides, dictating the opening exchanges as they wished, and they worked their first chancer just three minutes in when Idah exchanged a neat one-two with Lees-Melou before reaching the by-line and pulling the ball back for top scorer Teemu Pukki on the penalty spot, but Hugo Lloris got down well to save the resultant shot.
Oliver Skipp was man of the match for Spurs in Thursday's victory, and he looked set to carry his fine form into this match against his former teammates. He picked the ball up just inside his own half and embarked on a surging run straight through the middle of the pitch, eventually reaching the edge of the box and pulling the trigger, but it was straight at Tim Krul.
Tottenham were calling for a penalty when Tanganga went down in the box under pressure from Manchester United loanee Brandon Williams, but there was nothing doing and referee Jarred Gillett was unmoved.
The hosts opened the scoring right on the ten minute mark with one of the goals of the season so far from Lucas. The Brazilian clearly meant business when he picked the ball up on the edge of the box. He touched the ball past Billy Gilmour and played a one-two with Son before spinning on the spot to evade Omobamidele and powering his shot straight into the top corner.
That will doubtless be in the conversation for top spot when the best goals of this Premier League season come to be ranked in May.
After a relatively quiet spell from both sides, the next chance of the match fell to Spurs. In a counter-attack initiated by Skipp, Lucas spread the ball out to Son on the left. The forward scuffed his shot but it fell inadvertently into the path of Harry Kane, who didn't have the time to sort his footing out and saw his reactionary effort go wide.
Tottenham fashioned another chance to double their advantage when Son's lofted free-kick delivery nearly fell kindly for Ben Davies at the back post after a mix-up between Norwich's defenders, but it was just too far in front of the defender for him to make contact.
Having been on the back foot for the last 30 minutes or so, Norwich could have levelled the scoring when Max Aarons drove a vicious cross into the area which Spurs struggled to deal with, but no one in the Canaries' coral third kit was on hand to provide the finishing touch.
The hosts darted straight down the other end, and looked sure to get a second goal when Kane was thread in behind the Norwich defence by Lucas. The England striker saw Krul rushing out and attempted an audacious chip from little fewer than 30 yards, but it missed the target by some distance.
There was one final chance for Norwich when Lees-Melou got to the by-line on the right and lofted a ball onto the edge of the box where Williams was lurking, but the effort was way high and wide of the target — perhaps he wasn't the player the Canaries had hoped would end up in that position.
Conte's side had certainly had their fair share of opportunities to get a bit of daylight between themselves and Norwich, but it remained 1-0 at the break — would Tottenham come to regret their profligacy in the second-half?
Kane has just one goal so far this season, last scoring in October against Newcastle, and will have been desperate to get on the scoresheet today against the joint-second leakiest defence in the league. Just after the restart he rose highest to meet a corner from Son, but didn't make proper contact with his head and saw another opportunity go begging.
Norwich fashioned a truly gilt-edged chance to equalise on the hour mark. Williams skipped past Tanganga and reached the by-line before cutting the ball back for Pukki. The striker scuffed his effort a little but it fell kindly for Idah who, somehow, missed the target from the six-yard line.
A real let-off for the hosts and a simply massive opportunity gone begging for Smith's side.
Kane was getting closer and closer. With 65 minutes on the clock he was teed up on the edge of the box but substitute Matt Doherty and he lashed an effort which looked destined to bulge in the net but for a superb diving stop from Krul.
Spurs' second goal finally came from the resultant corner. The ball dropped kindly for Sanchez following a tantalising delivery from Son and the centre-back made no mistake in leathering it home with Krul rooted to the spot on this occasion.
There was a marked look of relief on Conte's face having seen his side give up a couple of chances before they managed to double their advantage.
With the pressure of the result now pretty much alleviated from his team's shoulders, attention turned to whether or not Kane would be able to break his five-game duck in the league. To his credit, he was trying absolutely everything to find the back of the net, and went close again when he dribbled his way onto the left edge of the box and powered at goal, but it was held well by Krul.
Spurs' third goal did eventually arrive, but through their other talisman. This time it was Son getting amongst the scoring for the second game in a row. He received the ball from Davies in the box and shimmied past Ben Gibson before powering his shot into the far bottom corner to take his tally in the league up to six so far this season.
Lucas received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when he was withdrawn for Steven Bergwijn with just over ten minutes to go — his goal was a moment of sheer individual brilliance and his overall performance had contributed significantly to this dominant Spurs display.
Norwich really should've pulled back a consolation goal when Pukki got to the by-line and sliced the ball back for Sargent on the penalty spot, but the USA international misjudged his finish completely and Spurs were able to clear.
Doherty powered one final effort over the bar following a corner, and that was that: a dominant performance from Tottenham and their most decisive victory under Conte's stewardship so far, while Norwich bid farewell to their unbeaten record since Smith took over.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris [c]; Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Tanganga (Doherty 62'), Skipp, Hojbjerg, Reguilon (Sessegnon 23'); Lucas (Bergwijn 80'), Kane, Son.
Unused subs: Gollini, Rodon, Winks, Ndombele, Alli, Scarlett.
Norwich City: Krul; Aarons, Omobamidele, Hanley [c], Gibson, Williams; Lees-Melou (Dowell 72'), Gilmour (Sorensen 81'), McLean; Idah (Sargent 69'), Pukki.
Unused subs: Gunn, Kabak, Giannoulis, Rupp, Cantwell, Tzolis.
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Following victory here, Tottenham are back at their home ground on Thursday evening for the visit of Stade Rennais in the Europa Conference League. They then travel to Brighton & Hove Albion on the Sunday.