Spurs 3 – 1 Nottingham Forest Review

Micky van de Ven v Forest

Following Sunday’s comfortable victory in the Premier League against Nottingham Forest at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Ange Postecoglou’s side have now returned to the top four.

The race for the top four and UEFA Champions League qualification looks set to continue into the final weeks of the 2023/24 Premier League season. Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs knew that they could enhance their chances of playing in European Football’s premier competition with a victory against Nuno Espirito Santo’s Nottingham Forest.

Results the previous day would have to go their way, meaning that Tottenham would have to win whilst Aston Villa had to drop points against Bournemouth at Villa Park the previous day. The first piece of good news for the Lilywhites came in the form of a 3 – 3 draw in B6 for Unai Emery’s Villa, who were leading 2 – 0 at one point. This gave Spurs the opportunity to leapfrog their Birmingham counterparts with victory the next day against relegation-threatened Forest in North London.

Postecoglou’s Tottenham took their opportunity, and with some confidence and style, went on to beat Nottingham Forest 3 – 1 on the afternoon of Sunday 7th April. This result has not only returned Spurs to 4th place, they continue to have a game in hand on Villa who have dropped to fifth place. The two clubs are separated only by goal difference – both of them currently sit on 60 points apiece from 31 and 32 games respectively.

The first significant opportunity of the game came in just the second minute of the game, and it was in favour of the home side. It came courtesy of midfielder Yves Bissouma, whose effort from just outside of the visitors’ penalty area narrowly missed the target, having received the ball from James Maddison (2’).

Timo Werner then had a great shot blocked well by the Forest defence just a few moments later (5’), as did Maddison just before ten minutes had elapsed in this Premier League contest (8’).

The scoring was officially opened not long after when Nottingham Forest’s Brazilian central defender Murillo scored an own goal to give Tottenham a 1 – 0 lead. Timo Werner had put a low cross into the box that was then diverted into the back of the net by Murillo (15’).

There was almost an instant response from Forest a few minutes later, with former Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi forcing a sensational save from Spurs ‘keeper Guglielmo Vicario, with the Italian stopper keeping his team’s lead intact (19’).

Then, a short while later, Forest stopper Matz Sels was forced into making two sensational saves in very quick succession. The first came from Yves Bissouma, before ex-Forest forward Brennan Johnson had an attempt against his old club just a few seconds later, but his effort was well saved by Sels. Son Heung-Min also had a shot blocked just after Johnson’s effort. Somehow, it had remained at 1 – 0 to Spurs (24’).

Unfortunately for the hosts, it was to be Nottingham Forest who would end up getting the next goal in this game. It came through Chris Wood, who found the bottom left corner from close range after having received the ball from ex-Manchester United forward and Sweden international Anthony Elanga with almost half an hour of the contest having been played (27’).

Nottingham Forest then had two very good chances just moments later to take the lead and complete a stunning comeback. The first opportunity came through midfielder Ryan Yates, who forced Vicario into a great save, with Reds goal scorer Wood hitting the post just seconds later (34’).

After Morgan Gibbs-White narrowly missed the target (35’), Elanga was the next to have an opportunity to give the visitors the lead from long range only for his effort to be well saved by Spurs’ Italian Goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario (38’).

The half time whistle then went with the two teams remaining level at 1 – 1 in the Premier League at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Tottenham then showed their intent in the second half right from the start. The first to have an opportunity to restore the lead for Ange Postecoglou’s home side was Denmark international midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who forced a great save from Matz Sels to keep the score level (47’).

Then, after Vicario made a great save from a very close range header by Chris Wood, there was finally joy and relief for all those of a Spurs persuasion (51’). Just a minute after Forest’s chance, a spectacular goal from Tottenham’s Dutch defender Micky Van de Ven restored his side’s advantage after finding the top left corner (52’).

Then, with just over half an hour of the game remaining, Spurs managed to extend their lead on Nottingham Forest to 2 goals when a close range shot from right back Pedro Porro found the top left corner making it 3 – 1 to the home team. The Spaniard had received the ball from Uruguayan midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur (58’).

It was almost 4 – 1 to Tottenham shortly after, only for Matz Sels to prevent Hojbjerg from finding the back of his net (63’). The Denmark international would then have another effort blocked by the Forest defenders with barely more than ten minutes of this Premier League contest remaining (79’).

Vicario then had to make a save from Forest midfielder Nicolas Dominguez, who was prevented from halving the deficit in the dying embers of the second half (83’).

The final opportunities then came in stoppage time in the second half. Second half substitute Giovani Lo Celso’s long range shot narrowly missed the top left corner (90+6’), whilst former Liverpool forward Divock Origi also saw an effort from range fail to find the back of the net by the narrowest of margins (90+7’).

It was only seconds after this opportunity that the full time whistle went to signal what was an important victory and three points that saw them leapfrog Champions League Rivals Aston Villa into fourth place after their draw against Bournemouth on Saturday.

Spurs had dominated possession of the ball throughout this contest, having 64% of the ball in comparison to a total of 36% for Forest. The home side had slightly more shots on goal with 17, whilst their visitors had 11. 7 of Spurs’ efforts found the target compared to the visitors’ 6.

Following this very important victory, Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach Ange Postecoglou had this to say (via the official Spurs website): “I’m pleased with today. It had a little bit of everything. We started the game well, not just the goal, I thought we controlled the game well.

“Then we conceded from a counter attack which was obviously disappointing. I thought we lost our way a little bit towards the back end of that first half, but a super reaction and the whole second half we were really dominant.

“We played some good football and scored a couple of good goals and created a couple more against a team that is desperate for points and fighting for everything. I guess every team is fighting for something and I thought we handled it really well.”

Next up for Spurs is a Premier League match against Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United on Saturday 13th April in a 12:30pm kick-off before taking on North London Rivals Arsenal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday 28th April 2024 in what is set to be a 14:00 kick-off.

There is no better way to watch Spurs play at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium than with an Eventmasters Hospitality Package. Book now to avoid disappointment!

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