Hearts failed to pick up Van der Vaart, right, who had a hand in three goals
Tottenham showed no signs of rustiness in their first competitive game of the season as they demolished Hearts in their Europa League play-off first leg.
Rafael van der Vaart opened the scoring on five minutes when he slotted in after Hearts failed to clear.
Jermain Defoe and Jake Livermore added similar goals with Van der Vaart involved in good build-up play.
Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon then completed the rout when they scored on the counter attack.
There could have been more goals for Harry Redknapp's side with Defoe also hitting the bar in the first half despite being flagged offside.
But the performance showed that rather than suffering from a lack of meaningful action after their Premier League match against Everton was cancelled because of riots in north London, they had a real appetite to get their season up and running.
For new Hearts boss Paulo Sergio, who has only been in the job for a fortnight, it was a rude awakening, especially coming hard on the heels of a promising 3-0 win over Aberdeen that gave the Edinburgh side their first Scottish Premier League win of the season.
The goals from five different scorers came on a night when Spurs were hampered by injury, but they passed the ball around with ease in a dominant display.
It may be stretching it to say the victory showed they would be able to cope without midfielder Luka Modric, who has been linked with Chelsea, such was the lack of bite from the hosts.
Yet the emergence of Livermore, alongside Niko Kranjcar, will give watching supporters reason to think the future is bright.
All evening the hosts struggled to pick up Van der Vaart, who was playing behind Defoe and had a hand in all three first-half goals.
His influence dictated the tempo of their attacks, yet once Spurs had taken a two-goal lead the game was shorn of its edge and gaps appeared all over the park.
Bale had already looked menacing down the left before Spurs went ahead and the goals before the break all began on that flank.
Defoe cut in to play a one-two with Van der Vaart but when the ball bounced off a defender and Marius Zaliukas failed to clear, it dropped to the Dutchman, who calmly finished.
Next it was Kranjcar who found Van der Vaart, and when he slipped the ball to Lennon, the winger created space for Defoe to prod home.
Interview - Spurs manager Harry Redlknapp
Livermore then crowned a fine display when he scored his first Tottenham goal, with Van der Vaart again the architect and Defoe playing the final pass.
The first meaningful effort by Paulo Sergio's side came on 38 minutes when Ryan Stevenson cut in from the left and fired wide of the post.
But despite the gulf in class between the two teams, the newly-appointed Portuguese coach will have been disappointed by Hearts' lack of pressure on the ball.
They rallied briefly after half-time when a succession of corners created some cheer for the home supporters who had begun the game in good voice.
Twice Michael Dawson cleared, however, and when Andy Driver's goal-bound cross was diverted over by Stevenson, it summed up a miserable night for the Scottish team.
Just after the hour, Bale collected Tom Huddlestone's lofted pass to round Marian Kello and put the second leg next Thursday beyond all doubt.
Lennon then added the gloss when he tucked in Defoe's cross after a smart pass on the counter attack by substitute Andros Townsend.
Hearts boss Paulo Sergio:
"In the first half we played like someone buying a ticket to watch the match. We didn't press the ball and if you give spaces like that to Tottenham it makes it difficult.
"We improved in the second and we were more aggressive on the ball. There is a huge difference in quality between the two teams but we should have done better in the first half."
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp:
"The first half was fantastic. We moved the ball around quickly and that is how I like to see us play. They came out in the second half stronger but in that first half we could have been even further in front. I just enjoyed watching us play. Niko Kranjcar and Rafael van der Vaart, their link-up play was great.
"You have to be fair and realistic, we have obviously got better quality players who earn a lot more than their players. We go to Old Trafford on Monday and we will see a different game."
Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
Ryan Stevenson has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the goal.
The ball is crossed by David Templeton, clearance by Michael Dawson.
Ryan Stevenson concedes a free kick for a foul on Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Free kick taken by Heurelho Gomes.
Niko Kranjcar has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, comfortable save by Marian Kello.
Booking The referee books Daniel Grainger for unsporting behaviour.
Booking David Templeton is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
David Templeton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kyle Walker.
Effort from a long way out by Andros Townsend goes wide right of the target.
Substitution (Hearts) makes a substitution, with David Obua coming on for Adrian Mrowiec.
Andros Townsend delivers the ball.
Substitution (Tottenham) makes a substitution, with Roman Pavlyuchenko coming on for Jermain Defoe.
The assist for the goal came from Jermain Defoe.
77:16 Goal scored
Goal! - Aaron Lennon - Hearts 0 - 5 Tottenham A goal is scored by Aaron Lennon from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Hearts 0-5 Tottenham.
Stephen Elliott takes a shot. Save made by Heurelho Gomes. Corner taken right-footed by Jamie Hamill from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Kyle Walker.
Corner taken right-footed by Niko Kranjcar, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andy Webster by Jermain Defoe. Marian Kello restarts play with the free kick.
Substitution John Sutton leaves the field to be replaced by Rudi Skacel.
Ryan Stevenson takes a shot. Blocked by Younes Kaboul.
Daniel Grainger challenges Kyle Walker unfairly and gives away a free kick. Niko Kranjcar delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing. Andros Townsend has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses left.
Unfair challenge on Niko Kranjcar by Ryan Stevenson results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adrian Mrowiec by Niko Kranjcar. Direct free kick taken by Andy Webster.
Substitution Andrew Driver leaves the field to be replaced by Stephen Elliott.
Tom Huddlestone provided the assist for the goal.
62:50 Goal scored
Goal! - Gareth Bale - Hearts 0 - 4 Tottenham Gareth Bale fires in a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Hearts 0-4 Tottenham.
Shot from inside the area by Tom Huddlestone clears the bar.
Substitution Tom Huddlestone is brought on as a substitute for Rafael Van der Vaart.
Jamie Hamill crosses the ball, Benoit Assou-Ekotto gets a block in. Corner taken by Daniel Grainger from the right by-line, Heurelho Gomes makes a comfortable save.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adrian Mrowiec by Kyle Walker. Marian Kello takes the free kick.
Shot from outside the box by Jamie Hamill goes wide right of the target.
Daniel Grainger produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.
Booking The referee books Younes Kaboul for unsporting behaviour.
Younes Kaboul gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ian Black.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on John Sutton by Michael Dawson. Free kick crossed right-footed by Jamie Hamill, Heurelho Gomes makes a save. Free kick awarded for a foul by Andy Webster on Heurelho Gomes. Heurelho Gomes restarts play with the free kick.
Shot by Andrew Driver from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
Corner taken by Jamie Hamill from the left by-line, Andy Webster takes a shot. Jamie Hamill takes a inswinging corner. Blocked by Michael Dawson.
Jamie Hamill takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post.
The match restarts for the second half.
45:00 +0:15 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.
Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Comfortable save by Marian Kello.
Ryan Stevenson has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.
Corner taken by Gareth Bale played to the near post, clearance by Adrian Mrowiec. Close range shot by Younes Kaboul goes over the bar.
Michael Dawson challenges Ryan Stevenson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Ryan Stevenson.
Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Marian Kello makes a comfortable save.
The official flags Jermain Defoe offside. Free kick taken by Marian Kello.
Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Jamie Hamill gets a block in. Rafael Van der Vaart takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Adrian Mrowiec manages to make a clearance.
Jermain Defoe provided the assist for the goal.
27:26 Goal scored
Goal! - Jake Livermore - Hearts 0 - 3 Tottenham Jake Livermore gets on the score sheet with a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Hearts 0-3 Tottenham.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Benoit Assou-Ekotto by Andrew Driver. Direct free kick taken by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Corner from the left by-line taken by Rafael Van der Vaart, clearance by Marius Zaliukas.
The ball is crossed by Ryan Stevenson.
David Templeton takes a shot. Michael Dawson gets a block in.
Jamie Hamill takes a short corner. The ball is sent over by Jamie Hamill.
Rafael Van der Vaart concedes a free kick for a foul on Ian Black. Jamie Hamill restarts play with the free kick.
Effort on goal by Gareth Bale from just inside the area clears the bar.
A cross is delivered by Gareth Bale.
The ball is swung over by Ian Black, Younes Kaboul makes a clearance.
Adrian Mrowiec gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Niko Kranjcar. Niko Kranjcar restarts play with the free kick.
The assist for the goal came from Aaron Lennon.
12:18 Goal scored
Goal! - Jermain Defoe - Hearts 0 - 2 Tottenham Goal scored by Jermain Defoe from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Hearts 0-2 Tottenham.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jake Livermore on John Sutton. Daniel Grainger restarts play with the free kick. John Sutton has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the goal.
Kyle Walker fouled by David Templeton, the ref awards a free kick. Aaron Lennon takes the free kick.
4:13 Goal scored
Goal! - Rafael Van der Vaart - Hearts 0 - 1 Tottenham Rafael Van der Vaart fires in a goal from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Hearts 0-1 Tottenham.
Jake Livermore fouled by Ian Black, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Niko Kranjcar.
Rafael Van der Vaart has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
The ball is sent over by Daniel Grainger.
The ball is swung over by Gareth Bale, Andy Webster manages to make a clearance.
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