Tottenham bounce back with straightforward win over Nottingham Forest
Harry Kane scored twice and Son Heung-min added the other goal as Tottenham cruised to an strangely comfortable 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest in north London on Saturday.
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The victory puts Tottenham (48 points - 4th place) six points clear of Liverpool in the Premier League’s top-four race after the Reds were upset by relegation battlers Bournemouth earlier on Saturday. Nottingham Forest (26 points - 14th place), meanwhile, remain perilously close to the relegation zone, just three points above the bottom-three with 12 games left to play.
Richarlison appeared to have smashed Spurs into the lead after three minutes, but a lengthy video review determined that the Brazilian was offside by the slimmest of margins — perhaps the closest call of the season — when Oliver Skipp played a profound ball over the top to split two defenders.
Frustrations over the VAR decision aside, it was all Tottenham from the opening whistle and beyond. Kane headed home Pedro Porro’s cross in the 19th minute to make it 1-0 and take his tally to 19 Premier League goals on the season, and the England captain converted from the penalty spot to make it 2-0 with his 20th on 35 minutes.
It wasn’t meant to be for Richarlison on the early goal, just days after lashing out at manager Antonio Conte and Tottenham’s frustrating season as a whole, but he got the assist on goal no. 3, as he picked out Son with a well-placed cross just after the hour mark. Son brought the ball down and moved it into space with one swift touch off his thigh before striking low and inside the far post.
Joe Worrall headed Felipe’s corner kick past Fraser Forster, who not long before had made a pair of stellar saves to preserve Spurs’ clean sheet, in the 81st minute — the lone blemish on an otherwise perfect day for Tottenham.
Forster went one better and kept the score at 3-1 by denying Andre Ayew from the penalty spot in stoppage time after Dejan Kulusevski handled the ball on the edge of the penalty area.
Consistent Kane strikes again (and again and again)
Saturday marked the sixth time in his career that Kane has scored 20 Premier League goals in a season. In the three seasons he failed to reach 20 goals, he “only” hit 17, 18 and 17.
That makes exactly 200 PL goals across the last nine seasons, for an average of 22.2 per season. Incredible consistency and production from a player who, sadly, might go his whole career without winning a trophy, no matter how long he plays.
Stars of the show
Spurs’ top-four quest will continue with a trip down to the south coast of England, where they’ll face last-place Southampton on Saturday (11 am ET). Forest will try to further distance themselves from the relegation zone when they host Newcastle on Friday (4 pm ET).
How to watch Tottenham vs Nottingham Forest live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, SaturdayTV Channel: PeacockOnline: Stream via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
There is discontent swirling around Tottenham once again as Conte’s future is uncertain, yet another trophyless season has arrived and the style of play has been defensive and dismal for most of this season. Harry Kane is carrying this Spurs team but they lack belief and it appears Daniel Levy is now lining up Mauricio Pochettino, Luis Enrique or Thomas Tuchel to potentially replace Conte before the end of the season. Add on to that Conte seemed to call out the Spurs fans for having a lack of patience in his press conference ahead of this game and all is not well. What a mess.
Forest have a star in the making carrying them in attack with Brennan Johnson scoring twice last week against Everton and Morgan Gibbs-White supporting him well. Some defensive issues are starting to creep back into their play but this Forest side are taking more risks on the counter. They lost the reverse fixture 2-0 as Kane scored twice at the City Ground back in August but they did beat Tottenham in the League Cup earlier this season.
Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Hugo Lloris (knee), Yves Bissouma (ankle), Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring), Rodrigo Bentancur (knee) | DOUBTFUL: Emerson Royal (knock), Ivan Perisic (unknown)
Nottingham Forest team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Taiwo Awoniyi (groin), Dean Henderson (thigh), Giulian Biancone (knee), Omar Richards (leg), Willy Boly (hamstring), Scott McKenna (hamstring), Moussa Niakhate (thigh) | DOUBTFUL: Cheikhou Kouyate (thigh)