The Denmark international combined with Nacer Chadli to score the only goal of the game shortly before half-time as the Saints were largely suppressed at White Hart Lane
The Denmark international finished cleverly at the near post after being set up by Nacer Chadli five minutes before half-time but the game was not entirely plain sailing for the hosts.
The Saints had chances to even it up, Hugo Lloris reacting brilliantly to keep out Victor Wanyama's effort on 65 minutes before Sadio Mane missed a late sitter, but by and large the north Londoners were the better team and saw out the victory.
Although Tottenham made 10 alterations to the side who drew 1-1 with Besiktas in the Europa League on Thursday, both teams were unchanged from their last Premier League outings.
|VIEW FROM WHITE HART LANE
|By Jamie Dunn
Tottenham have shaken off the Europa League hangover with a victory on Sunday after playing on Thursday.
This was a thoroughly entertaining showing from both sides but it was Christian Eriksen's strike which made the difference as he beat Fraser Forster with a well-placed finish.
This will be a huge boost for Spurs, who have needed a win recently, while Southampton's bright start suffers a slight setback. The test for them is how they respond.
Both goalkeepers remained unchallenged until the 25th minute, when Erik Lamela's effort from 20 yards was tipped wide by Fraser Forster with the ball looking destined for the bottom-right corner.
A reckless tackle from Ryan Bertrand saw Naughton requiring lengthy treatment on the half-hour mark. The challenge went unpunished but Naughton's match came to a premature end, with Eric Dier brought on in his place.
Forster did just enough to push an Eriksen strike wide of his left-hand post in the 36th minute,but he was helpless when the former Ajax man tried his luck with a shot to the keeper's right four minutes later. Eriksen's driven effort from the edge of the penalty area fizzed just out of the reach of the England international and Chadli then hit the post after being sent through on goal by Emmanuel Adebayor.
Hugo Lloris had to wait until first-half stoppage time to make his first meaningful save – the Frenchman diving to his left to gather a deflected Dusan Tadic free kick.
Younes Kaboul got off with only a yellow card when he brought down Mane as the last man in the 52nd minute, before Forster spilled the ball from an Eriksen cross at the other end.
Lloris then had to be alert to keep out a vicious Wanyama shot following an unconvincing clearance from captain Kaboul but Tottenham felt that they should have been awarded a penalty in the 75th minute when Adebayor appeared to be barged off the ball by Nathaniel Clyne, fresh from his first England call-up.
Referee Mike Jones waved away the home side's appeals but it made no difference as Southampton – who saw Mane fluff his lines in the closing 10 minutes after Bertrand had played in an excellent cross from the left – failed to find a way through their former manager's defensive line.