Harry Kane is back and with Kane comes Son Heung-min and, with those two among the goals, Tottenham can move forward once again with confidence and ambition.
Greater tests await, of course. This was no real examination by struggling West Bromwich Albion but Jose Mourinho’s team had to end to a run of three defeats in a row.
Kane led the way, opening the scoring with his 208th goal for Spurs to draw level in the club’s all-time goal charts with Bobby Smith. Only Jimmy Greaves has more, albeit it 58 more.
Son scored the second and they kept a clean sheet to soothe the fears that have gathered since Kane went off nursing two injured ankles during a defeat against Liverpool.
Victory will restore some measure of belief ahead of an FA Cup tie at Everton and Saturday’s trip to face Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Problems are mounting for Sam Allardyce, however, with 28 goals conceded in his first 10 league games in charge at West Brom. Allardyce sacrificed top-scorer Matheus Pereira in an attempt to tighten up in defence and will have cursed his luck to learn of Kane’s rapid recovery.
Tottenham produced an early period of pressure. Sam Johnstone saved from Son and Erik Lamela fired over from distance before a cluster of three wonderful opportunities, created inside five minutes and surprisingly wasted by Kane who found space by drifting into an inside-left channel.
The first, from a cross by Serge Aurier, he drove narrowly over, grazing the bar and crashing against the stanchion. The next, he dragged across goal and wide from an angle, after latching onto a pass from Tanguy Ndombele.
With a more clinical touch, Kane might have been in at Johnstone’s goal again as Aurier won possession in attacking territory and Lamela slipped another pass his way, but West Brom recovered to smother the danger as he tried to work the ball onto his right foot.
The visitors rode the storm. Johnstone denied both Kane and Aurier in quick succession. The save to keep out Aurier’s header at a corner was a splendid reaction and a strong right hand.
West Brom’s only threat in the first half was supplied by the aerial presence of Mbaye Diagne, the Senegalese centre-forward signed last month on loan from Galatasaray.
Diagne headed over in the opening minutes and, just before the interval, another header forced a fabulous save from Hugo Lloris, unaware he was offside.
Johnstone stuck out his left boot to frustrate Son, early in the second half, but West Brom’s resistance was soon breached. They lost Kane and this time he punished them for it, collecting a pass from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and finding the net.
It was his 13th goal of this Premier League campaign and he was involved in the second, using his chest to divert the ball to Lucas Moura as Spurs broke at pace out of defender.
Moura carried the ball 50 yards, used a clever run by Lamela and rolled a pass to Son who beat Johnstone from 10 yards.
Diagne twice had the ball in the net as West Brom sought a way back into the contest but was offside on both occasions, and there was little else by way of encouragement for Allardyce.
His team are adrift in the bottom three. Mourinho, meanwhile, has stopped the rot.