Mauricio Pochettino hailed an “almost perfect” performance on Saturday after his Tottenham Hotspur side thumped Stoke City 4-0 away, with Harry Kane scoring his first goal in 10 games for club and country.
Son Heung-min found the net either side of halftime after fine interplay with Christian Eriksen before England duo Dele Alli and Kane scored two more as Spurs went fourth in the standings.
They had been unconvincing in beating Crystal Palace 1-0 at home on August 20, were fortunate to take a point from Liverpool in a 1-1 draw before the international break and appeared disjointed during the early stages against Stoke.
“I was a little bit worried because we started the game a little bit sloppy,” Pochettino told reporters, “but I think when Son scored, we woke up and started to come into the game.
“In the second half I’m very pleased, because the performance was almost perfect. I’m happy with the performance, happy for the players and our supporters,” added the manager.
Both Alli and last season’s top scorer Kane shook off their Euro 2016 hangover during an excellent second half showing, with the latter finding the net for the first time for club and country since Spurs’ 2-2 draw against Chelsea on May 2.
“All you can do as a striker is keep working hard and getting in positions to score,” Kane told BBC Sport. “Sometimes you need the ball to fall for you, and it did today.”
“Another day, another time, you can’t improve,” added Pochettino, “but in this game it was perfect and I think we fully deserved the result.”
The result left Stoke at the bottom of the Premier League table, having taken just one point from their opening four fixtures.
To compound a miserable outing, coach Mark Hughes was sent to the stands in the 35th minute after vociferously protesting the referee’s decision.
“I was disappointed with that but I was also disappointed with my reaction,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s not been a great day for us, but we can pick ourselves up.”