This is one Everton will want to forget in a hurry. The supporters and players, anyway.
Not Frank Lampard, mind. The Everton manager said last week’s FA Cup victory over Boreham Wood represented a valuable learning exercise. And he'll file this defeat in north London in the same bracket.
Lampard is relatively new in the job and trying to engineer a swift about-turn in results and performances and he'll hope that in time he can reflect on events of this cold Monday night as a salutary lesson.
In the here and now, Everton took nothing, falling behind to Michael Keane’s 14th-minute own goal after a bright start and eventually beaten convincingly.
Jordan Pickford made a host of tremendous saves on his 200th Premier League appearance. Anthony Gordon, meanwhile, was a handful for Tottenham, so much so that Antonio Conte removed his left-wing-back, Ryan Sessegnon, at half-time, despite Spurs being three goals to the good.
In the final reckoning, however, Everton were unable to either leapfrog Leeds United in 16th, or make up ground on the pack of teams immediately above the Yorkshire club.
Son Heung-min doubled Spurs’ lead soon after the opener and the characteristically ruthless Harry Kane drilled the home side three in front on 37 minutes.
Evertonians with long memories will remember their team recovering a three-goal deficit to draw at White Hart Lane nearly 30 years ago – in April 1992 – but Sergio Reguilon, only just brought on, banished the possibility of a repeat, moments after the restart.
Kane’s exquisite, controlled volley on 55 minutes made it 5-0.
There was nothing after 14 minutes of this match to indicate that Everton would be trailing by two within 180 seconds.
Nothing in Everton’s robust opening and nothing from the home side as an attacking proposition.
The best piece of football had been served up by the visitors. Seamus Coleman, Allan and Richarlison combined to find Jonjoe Kenny on the left. He checked infield to cross, but when Dominic Calvert-Lewin tumbled under a challenge, the penalty appeals sounded almost exclusively from the Evertonians packed into their corner of this vast arena.
Gordon had provided the finest example of individual play, too, a lovely piece of control to cushion Allan’s rangy pass and escape Sessegnon in one movement.
He would match that skill after 33 minutes, to boot, even the locals gasping in appreciation as Gordon eased into space as a direct consequence of his deft touch.
Defensively, Everton had been tough enough. Mason Holgate was swarming over Spurs’ forwards, Kane notably left in a heap after a legitimate clonk from the centre-half early in the piece.
When Spurs raced over halfway at a rate of knots following the Calvert-Lewin penalty shout, Allan assiduously tidied up.
Another home raid, Son striding into the box following Kane’s outside-of-the-boot pass, came to nothing thanks to Gordon, sprinting back and meriting his stroke of fortune when Pickford was able to drop to his right to gather the toed interception.
Everton had no such luck when Spurs claimed the game’s first goal.
Ben Davies carried the ball forwards on Tottenham’s left to release Sessegnon, speeding into the room behind Coleman.
Sessegnon’s cross from tight to the byline was aimed at Kane, making for the near post. Keane got there ahead of the England centre-forward but the defender’s touch sent the ball scooting beyond Pickford.
What Everton needed now was a period of calm, to feel their way back into the contest. What they really could have done without was precisely what happened, one becoming two to give the hosts all the momentum and usher in jubilant scenes in stands that were suddenly bouncing.
The attack began down the right on this occasion, Cristian Romero, the Spurs centre-half, supplying Kane, who fed Dejan Kulusevski to advance.
The Swede delayed his pass, drawing Holgate before slipping in Son for a strike that defeated Pickford to the keeper’s right.
Everton were stopped in their offensive tracks by foul means more than once.
Gordon dodged a rugby tackle from Sessegnon but not a tug by Son, who was booked for his troubles.
Romero then comprehensively wiped out Richarlison high on Everton’s left. Hugo Lloris, however, was free to collect Gordon’s free-kick, so often the story of the visitors’ set-pieces on this night.
Pickford was watchful as Son threatened to get on the end of Kane’s bouncing ball from wide on the right.
And the Everton keeper, on his 28th birthday, produced one of his trademark one-on-one saves after 28 minutes.
Matt Doherty travelled right to left with the ball at his feet, then freed Son with a precise pass.
Pickford stood tall to deny the South Korean and Kane steered the follow up wide of the keeper’s right post.
Doherty was next to have an attempt for Tottenham. Son did the legwork, keeping play alive on the left and quickly moving infield. The first attempt at a pass came straight back to Son via Donny van de Beek’s interception, but the second located its intended target in Doherty.
He manufactured space to thrash a shot Pickford turned round his near post. Son took the resultant corner short, accepting the return from Romero and firing at the front post, where Kane was denied by a combination of Pickford and Kenny.
There was no stopping Kane eight minutes before the break, however. In all honesty, the outcome never appeared in doubt once Doherty’s pass found Kane haring into space down the middle.
It had all begun rather innocuously, Lloris’ punt down the middle eventually gathered by Kulusevski, who fed Doherty to spring Kane.
There would be a VAR check, which showed Kenny playing Kane onside, but there was no disputing the finish, cracked past Pickford on the keeper’s right.
Keane wore a ball full in the face from a venomous Holgate clearance shortly before the break and was replaced by Jarrad Branthwaite for the second half.
Spurs made a change, too, and Reguilon, on for Sessegnon, essentially doused Everton’s faint comeback hopes with his second touch.
Reguilon’s first involvement saw him steal possession on Spurs' left. The Spaniard continued his run while Son and Kane traded passes and Son ultimately ushered in Kulusevski on the right.
The low delivery hurried across the face of goal for the onrushing Reguilon to convert.
Calvert-Lewin, starting after a groin problem kept him out of the past two matches, shot wide of the far post after 53 minutes. Back to the other end, and Allan recovered at a furious pace to thwart a Kulusevski goal attempt.
Branthwaite got in the way when Son thrashed a ball into the centre following lovely approach play from the excellent Kulusevski. And an Eric Dier header clipped the top of the bar following Kane’s inswinging cross from the left.
Kane opted to do it himself moments later, the 28-year-old providing a vivid demonstration of the technique that fed into Lampard’s description of the centre-forward as “world class” prior to the game.
Everton coughed up possession trying to play from the back and in the blink of an eye the ball was in the net.
Doherty dropped the ball over the top from roughly midway inside Everton’s half. It dropped for Kane, stationed to the left of goal but with an awful lot still to do. He met it with his left instep, sending the ball screaming across the helpless Pickford and into the far corner.
There was a nice moment when Spurs fans rose to applaud Vitalii Mykolenko onto the field as the Ukranian replaced Van de Beek after 59 minutes, Lampard introducing wing-backs and a back three in a bid to stem the tide.
Spurs’ creative hub Kulusevski threaded in substitute Steven Bergwijn for a firmly-hit strike that called on Pickford’s reactions.
Davinson Sanchez, on for Romero since the 52nd minute – Conte protecting the defender on a booking – flashed a header off target from Reguilon’s dead-ball delivery.
But, for Everton, the damage was long since done. And, for Lampard, the learning continues in advance of a weighty meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Goodison Park on Sunday.