Nottingham Forest 0 – 2 Spurs Match Review

Richarlison scores against Nottingham Forest December 2023

Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham Hotspur find themselves just a point adrift of the top four following their comfortable win against Forest and results elsewhere.

Spurs recorded their second consecutive Premier League win after beating Steve Cooper’s Nottingham Forest 2 – 0 at the City Ground on Friday night. The win, combined with results elsewhere at the weekend, has seen Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham remain in fifth place but reduce the gap between themselves and Manchester City in fourth from three points to just a single point.

The victory also means that the North London club have won 2, drawn 1 and lost 1 of their last four matches. This includes an enthralling 3 – 3 draw against City, an emphatic 4 – 1 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and, of course, their 2 – 0 success against Nottingham Forest in their most recent Premier League match. The only defeat was a 2 – 1 loss at the hands of West Ham United.

Nottingham Forest’s defeat against Spurs sees them drop to 17th place after accumulating just 14 points from their opening 17 matches of the 2023/24 season. Coopers’ side dropped a place after Everton emerged as 2 – 0 winners away from home at Turf Moor against Vincent Kompany’s Burnley.

Forest now sits 5 points clear of Luton Town, who occupy the final relegation spot in 18th place.

Let’s now move on to the match itself in the Premier League at the City Ground between Nottingham Forest and Spurs on Friday night.

The visiting Tottenham side got the first chance of the match in the opening few minutes of the contest. Son Heung-Min, receiving a through ball from Dejan Kulusevski, forced a great save from Matt Turner to ensure the game remained level at 0 – 0 (3’).

Former Forest forward Brennan Johnson then had Spurs’ next best chance of the game when he forced another great save from Turner (23’). Wales international defender Ben Davies then had an effort on goal of his own blocked by the home defenders just a minute later (24’).

After Son Heung-Min had a shot on goal well blocked, it seemed that it would be in the second half where the away side would find the breakthrough (44’). However, thankfully, for those of a Spurs persuasion, they did not have to wait much longer to see a goal.

The in-form Richarlison found the back of the net with a powerful, close range header in first half stoppage time following a spectacular cross into the Nottingham Forest box by fellow forward Dejan Kulusevski (45+2’).

This saw Tottenham Hotspur enter the half time break with a precious 1 – 0 advantage.

Nottingham Forest thought they had finally found their equaliser through ex-Manchester United forward Anthony Elanga early on in the second half, but thankfully for Spurs, this goal was ruled out by VAR for offside (60’).

Then, a few minutes later, Dejan Kulusevski had a powerful shot blocked, as did Son Heung-Min seconds later (63’). The South Korean then forced a save from United States international stopper Matt Turner (64’).

Spurs were missing opportunities, but Postecoglou’s Lilywhites would not have to wait much longer to double their advantage. Dejan Kulusevski found the top right corner from an extremely tight angle to score his side’s second goal of the afternoon (65’).

Unfortunately for Tottenham, they were reduced to ten men when ex-Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma was shown a straight red card after an intervention of VAR (70’).

Then, with less than ten minutes remaining, Spurs came close to making it 3 – 0 through goal scorer Dejan Kulusevski, but the Sweden international saw his effort saved well by Turner after his shot looked destined to find the bottom right corner (81’).

Harry Toffolo forced a late save from Guglielmo Vicario before having another effort blocked by the visiting defenders (84’).

It remained 2 – 0, and the final whistle from the referee confirmed the win and that all three Premier League points would be heading back to North London with Tottenham Hotspur.

Spurs did dominate possession with 67.3% of the ball compared to Nottingham Forest’s 32.7% on the day. The Lilywhites also had 6 shots on target, considerably more than Forest’s total of 1.

Following Spurs’ 10th win of the 2023/24 Premier League season, Head Coach Ange Postecoglou had this to say (via Tottenham’s official website): “I’m really proud of the lads. We had to earn the win tonight, it was a tough game, they’re obviously desperate for results here and it’s not an easy place to come to.

“They test you in ways other teams don’t, a lot of long throws in the box and things we had to deal with, but I thought we held out really well and still played some decent football at times, created some good chances and scored two good goals.

“It wasn’t a game where we weren’t going to get challenged in that way. They are throwing the ball into the box from virtually the halfway line, so you are going to have to deal with that, it’s unavoidable. I thought Vic (Guglielmo Vicario), Ben Davies, Romero were outstanding. The whole team handled it really well.”

Spurs’ next game sees them host Sean Dyche’s Everton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday 23rd December 2023 (15:00 Kick-Off). Then, after an away trip to Brighton (28th December), Tottenham will welcome Andoni Iraola’s AFC Bournemouth to North London on Sunday 31st December 2023 (14:00 Kick-Off).

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