Nottingham Forest 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Ten-man visitors underline top-four aspirations with win at City Ground

15 December 2023 0 By Total Football News
Richarlison scores for SpursRicharlison scored in back-to-back Premier League appearances for the first time since May 2022

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.

Kulusevski takes centre stage on difficult night for Cooper

While Son Heung-min played a starring role in Spurs' thrashing of Newcastle last Sunday, Kulusevski was their inspiration at the City Ground.

The former Juventus man was a constant source of danger and excelled after switching to the right flank with Johnson going off with a cut to the head after a nasty clash with his former teammate Boly.

Kulusevski's curling and pacey delivery for Richarlison's opener left Turner in no man's land and gave the Brazilian as easy chance as any to register goals in consecutive games for the first time as a Tottenham player.

And when Forest looked to be rallying, Kulusevski got the goal his performance deserved, shifting the ball away from Moussa Niakhate and emphatically driving it past Turner to give his side a valuable cushion.

With captain Son expected to feature for South Korea at the Asian Cup in January, Kulusevski's form and that of Richarlison - who was described as a "goalmouth monster" by his manager - have come at the right time.

"He [Dejan Kulusevski] has been great for us all year. He started in the middle for us today, looked dangerous, then when Brennan [Johnson] went off he went back out wide and had the quality of delivery," Postecoglou said.

However, the former Celtic and Australia boss will be far from happy about an impending four-match suspension for Bissouma, who was sent off for the second time this season for an almost knee-high tackle on Ryan Yates.

The reception given to Cooper as the teams emerged before kick-off left little doubt that he still commands the firm support of the Forest fans.

And given the way his side went about their business there is little to suggest that the Forest players are not putting in a shift for their manager.

Still, their next home game against Bournemouth on 23 December takes on added significance if he is to retain the confidence of owner Evangelos Marinakis.

Player of the match

KulusevskiDejan Kulusevski

with an average of 8.68

Nottingham Forest

  1. Squad number7Player nameN Williams

    Average rating

    5.27

  2. Squad number40Player nameMurillo

    Average rating

    4.74

  3. Squad number22Player nameYates

    Average rating

    4.65

  4. Squad number30Player nameBoly

    Average rating

    4.55

  5. Squad number10Player nameGibbs-White

    Average rating

    4.49

  6. Squad number15Player nameToffolo

    Average rating

    4.48

  7. Squad number19Player nameNiakhaté

    Average rating

    4.40

  8. Squad number5Player nameMangala

    Average rating

    4.38

  9. Squad number21Player nameElanga

    Average rating

    4.34

  10. Squad number8Player nameKouyaté

    Average rating

    4.12

  11. Squad number1Player nameTurner

    Average rating

    4.08

  12. Squad number14Player nameHudson-Odoi

    Average rating

    3.83

  13. Squad number28Player nameDanilo

    Average rating

    3.69

  14. Squad number11Player nameWood

    Average rating

    3.52

Tottenham Hotspur

  1. Squad number21Player nameKulusevski
    Average rating

    8.68

  2. Squad number13Player nameVicario
    Average rating

    8.15

  3. Squad number33Player nameDavies
    Average rating

    7.92

  4. Squad number9Player nameRicharlison
    Average rating

    7.87

  5. Squad number7Player nameSon Heung-min
    Average rating

    7.73

  6. Squad number23Player namePorro
    Average rating

    7.63

  7. Squad number17Player nameRomero
    Average rating

    7.61

  8. Squad number38Player nameUdogie
    Average rating

    7.28

  9. Squad number29Player nameSarr
    Average rating

    7.14

  10. Squad number4Player nameSkipp
    Average rating

    6.80

  11. Squad number5Player nameHøjbjerg
    Average rating

    6.75

  12. Squad number22Player nameJohnson
    Average rating

    6.62

  13. Squad number12Player nameEmerson Royal
    Average rating

    6.40

  14. Squad number36Player nameVéliz
    Average rating

    6.20

  15. Squad number8Player nameBissouma
    Average rating

    5.74

Line-ups

Nottm Forest

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Turner
  • 30BolySubstituted forWoodat 67'minutes
  • 40Santiago Costa dos SantosBooked at 82mins
  • 19Niakhaté
  • 7N Williams
  • 22Yates
  • 5MangalaSubstituted forHudson-Odoiat 83'minutes
  • 8KouyatéSubstituted forDaniloat 67'minutes
  • 15ToffoloBooked at 90mins
  • 21Elanga
  • 10Gibbs-White

Substitutes

  • 11Wood
  • 14Hudson-Odoi
  • 16Domínguez
  • 23Vlachodimos
  • 27Origi
  • 28Danilo
  • 29Montiel
  • 32Omobamidele
  • 43Aina

Tottenham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Vicario
  • 23Porro
  • 17Romero
  • 33DaviesBooked at 73mins
  • 38UdogieBooked at 42mins
  • 29SarrBooked at 54mins
  • 8BissoumaBooked at 70mins
  • 22JohnsonSubstituted forSkippat 32'minutes
  • 21KulusevskiSubstituted forVélizat 90+9'minutes
  • 7Son Heung-minBooked at 79minsSubstituted forEmerson Royalat 88'minutes
  • 9RicharlisonSubstituted forHøjbjergat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Skipp
  • 5Højbjerg
  • 11Gil
  • 12Emerson Royal
  • 15Dier
  • 20Forster
  • 36Véliz
  • 63Donley
  • 65Dorrington
Referee:
Jarred Gillett
Attendance:
29,296

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Nottingham Forest 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2.


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/67656405?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA