Tottenham victory at Forest boosts top-four hopes

 

Richarlison of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring their team's first goal with Son Heung-min during the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur at City Ground on December 15, 2023 in Nottingham, England. 

Ten-man Tottenham condemned Nottingham Forest to a fifth Premier League defeat in six games as they underlined their top-four ambitions at the City Ground.

Richarlison’s third goal in two games set Spurs on their way with the outstanding Dejan Kulusevski sealing victory for Ange Postecoglou’s side who had Yves Bissouma sent off in the 70th minute.

The result moves fifth-placed Tottenham level on points with Manchester City, although the champions have played a game less.

Forest who sit 16th in the table, five points clear of the bottom three, have now won just once in their previous 13 matches in the English top flight, and the outcome of this contest is only likely to increase the pressure on boss Steve Cooper.

His side had their moments and showed plenty of endeavour but lacked the composure and quality in the final third that visitors were able to display in key moments.

Spurs controlled much of the first period, in which they lost Brennan Johnson to a head injury, and deservedly went ahead on the stroke of half-time when Brazil forward Richarlison nodded in from Kulusevski’s superb cross from the right.

The hosts made an encouraging start to the second period and Willy Boly missed arguably their best opportunity to level, blazing over from just inside the visitors’ penalty area.

Cooper’s side also briefly thought they had equalised just before the hour mark but the video assistant referee correctly judged that Anthony Elanga had just strayed offside before sweeping in Neco Williams’ cross.

And two errors from goalkeeper Matt Turner sealed their fate, with the American passing a clearance straight to Kulusevski before allowing Sweden winger powerful drive to beat him at the near post.

Tottenham goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario’s reaction save from Harry Toffolo’s point-blank header and a moment of miscommunication between Elanga and the Forest left-wing back summed up an unproductive evening for the hosts in the final third.


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