LONDON (AP) — Gylfi Sigurdsson's double gave Tottenham a 2-0 victory over Norwich and a third win in four English Premier League games for the overhauled team on Saturday.
New signing Christian Eriksen played a part in creating Sigurdsson's goals during a skillful debut after joining from Ajax. Eriksen was one of seven players signed in recent months as Tottenham reinvested the $130 million-plus fee received from Real Madrid, which completed the world-record signing of Gareth Bale two weeks ago.
"He used all of his experience between the lines and his movement was fantastic," Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said of Eriksen. "He bonded very easily and his individual quality made the difference.
"These are qualities we look for. Most of our signings have it — mental qualities to fight for places and the ability to understand the game. For Eriksen's age (21), he is quite impressive." Tottenham's opening pair of victories — before losing at Arsenal — had been achieved from the penalty spot.
But Sigurdsson scored Tottenham's first goal from open play this season in the 28th minute. Danny Rose picked up the ball from Mousa Dembele and squared to Eriksen, who fed for Sigurdsson to slot home from 15 yards (meters).
Sigurdsson's second came four minutes into the second half. Eriksen picked the ball up in the center and fed Paulinho, who fired a low ball through goalkeeper John Ruddy's hands to the back post where the unmarked Sigurdsson tapped in.
Eriksen, though, stole the show to highlight the value of a transfer that could cost Tottenham up to 13.5 million euros ($18 million). Early on, the Dane picked the ball up off Danny Rose and twisted and turned past two Norwich defenders before firing in a low shot, which Ruddy spilled.
Another new recruit, Roberto Soldado, backheeled the loose ball toward goal, but the woodwork denied the Spain striker a goal to add to his two penalties so far for Tottenham. Eriksen's corner then fell into the path of Dembele, who turned Bradley Johnson inside out to find Soldado. But the striker was denied again, this time by the out-stretched leg of former Tottenham defender Sebastien Bassong.
A few minutes later Spurs were ahead with their first goal from open play in 297 minutes in the league. Villas-Boas became angry at his team's failure to add a second, and they almost paid for their profligacy when Jan Vertonghen lost his footing in his own box while tracking Ricky Van Wolfswinkel.
Luckily for Spurs, Rose put a foot in to deny the Netherlands striker. And then Sigurdsson found the target again. "We were beaten by a very, very good side," Norwich manager Chris Hughton said. "We needed to show more and we needed to have periods of possession on the ball and we didn't do that well enough."