It was an afternoon to forget at Goodison Park as Everton were beaten on home soil for the first time this season - and only the second time in 2017.
The Blues’ winless run against Tottenham Hotspur extended to 10 matches as a Harry Kane brace, either side of a Christian Eriksen goal, earned the Londoners maximum points.
Kane’s opener was scored in freak circumstances; a cross-shot from the right touchline that looped over Jordan Pickford midway through the first half.
Eriksen struck to make it 2-0 shortly before half-time and Kane put the contest beyond the Toffees moments after the restart.
New signing Nikola Vlasic, recruited on transfer deadline day, made his debut from the bench late in the second half but was unable to influence the final outcome.
On the day Everton celebrated the 125th anniversary of calling Goodison Park home, Gylfi Sigurdsson was given his first outing at the Grand Old Lady since arriving in a Club-record deal.
It was the Icelander’s fourth appearance for the Toffees but a run of three successive away games had meant that he’d been forced to wait 24 days to grace Goodison since completing his transfer from Swansea City.
Whereas Ronald Koeman had opted for Mason Holgate and wing-backs against Chelsea a fortnight ago, here he brought in Cuco Martina for his full Everton Premier League debut and switched to four-at-the-back. The fit-again Davy Klaassen returned after recovering from an ankle injury, as did Morgan Schneiderlin, who was available again following his one-game ban.
In his pre-match interview, Koeman spoke assertively about “needing runners and good movement” to combat a Spurs side that finished second to Chelsea in last season’s Premier League table.
The Blues’ first attack on five minutes was, indeed, full of that. Wayne Rooney, played a one-two with Idrissa Gana Gueye in the centre of midfield before releasing Martina with a perfectly-weighted slide-rule pass. The full-back beat his man and centred, only for Sandro to guide his close-range finish the wrong side of the post.
Spurs responded with a craftily-worked move of their own. A ball from Ben Davies on the left was chested down inside the area by Dele Alli, who was afforded too much space, and Eriksen uncharacteristically snatched at a shot that drifted wide.
Everton again almost paid the price for poor marking minutes later when Davies delivered an equally dangerous cross from a similar position, only for Moussa Sissoko to walk onto the ball and hammer a goal-bound shot straight at Michael Keane.
Sigurdsson, lining up against the side he represented for two years between 2012 and 2014, then volleyed over the bar from distance as Everton tried to combat Spurs’ increasing hold of possession.
The visitors went ahead on 26 minutes through Kane’s bamboozling cross-shot. The England man whipped over a devious, dipping delivery from the right touchline, which surprised everyone inside a packed penalty area, including Pickford, who was powerless to prevent the ball landing in the top corner of the Park End net. Only Kane will know whether or not he meant it.
Everton’s response was a crisply-hit attempt from Sandro that thundered right into the body of Toby Alderweireld. If the Belgian defender had not been in the way, Hugo Lloris in the Spurs net would have had problems.
However, before the first half was out, Tottenham grasped a two-goal lead.
On 43 minutes, Eriksen was perfectly-placed to sweep home from 10 yards out after Davies’ initial shot had been pushed out by Pickford.
In an attempt to find a route back into the match, Koeman made a double substitution at the break. The formation remained the same, but on came Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin for Sandro and Klaassen.
But even before the two had been able to have a touch of the ball, Spurs had scored a third.
Davies picked out Kane and the England man nipped in at the near post to convert his second of the afternoon with less then 60 seconds of the second half played.
Spurs had the momentum and acrobatics were needed from Pickford to stop Eriksen extending the visitors’ lead even further with a volley from an acute angle.
Gueye then had the chance to reduce arrears midway through the second period but the Senegal international couldn’t steer his shot goalwards after being presented with an opportunity by a loose pass from Lloris.
It might have been a way back in for the Blues but it wasn't to be. Mauricio Pochettino's professional outfit managed the game out, leaving Everton to switch their focus to the Europa League and their opening group game against Atalanta in Italy on Thursday.