Tottenham bolstered their renewed bid for a top-four place in the Premier League as Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski netted in a 2-0 win against struggling Nottingham Forest on Friday. Richarlison put Ange Postecoglou’s side ahead late in the first half and Kulusevski struck after the break at the City Ground. Tottenham midfielder Yves Bissouma was sent off for a dangerous tackle with 20 minutes left, but the visitors held on for their second successive victory.
The north Londoners are level on points with fourth-placed Manchester City, who host Crystal Palace in their game in hand on Saturday.
After winning for the first time in six league games last weekend when they crushed Newcastle, Tottenham’s confident display offered more evidence they have emerged from their autumn swoon.
Saluting his opening scorer, Postecoglou said: “Richarlison is a goalmouth monster. I’m really pleased with him in training and I was confident he could do a job for us.
“It’s a tough game here. You have to earn whatever you get. When the ball goes out for a throw-in, you feel like you’ve conceded a goal.”
Postecoglou was less impressed with Bissouma becoming Tottenham’s latest player to be sent off.
“We’ve had to deal with that a few times this year. You can’t go on like that because we’ll eventually pay a price for that,” he said.
“It’s a fine line between commitment to what we do and not overstepping the mark.”
In contrast, Forest are winless in their last six games and have managed just one victory in 13 matches as the pressure mounts on boss Steve Cooper.
Forest sit five points above the relegation zone, but that gap could dwindle depending on the results of their fellow strugglers this weekend.
Tottenham forward Brennan Johnson was constantly jeered on his first return to Forest since his close-season transfer.
Johnson’s miscued cross drew an especially sarcastic cheer from the Forest fans before he nearly silenced his tormentors with a poked effort that drew a good save from Matt Turner.
The Wales international’s evening ended in pain after 32 minutes as he was forced off with blood pouring from a head wound, a worrying sight that finally prompted a sympathetic round of applause from the stands.
Spurs back on track
Tottenham forward Son Heung-min was subjected to some crunching tackles as Forest tried to rattle him, but the South Korean was unfazed, whipping in a cross that Pedro Porro headed wide.
Tottenham were dominating possession and they finished with a flourish in first-half stoppage time.
Kulusevski’s inswinging cross picked out Richarlison and, cleverly drifting away from his marker, the Brazilian rose to head home from five yards.
It was Richarlison’s third goal in his last two games after he had gone nearly three months without scoring.
Willy Boly squandered a golden opportunity to equaliser early in the second half when the unmarked Forest defender fired over from close-range.
That was a the signal for a period of sustained Forest pressure, with Guglielmo Vicario sprawling to repel Gibbs-White’s drive.
Forest thought they had equalised when Anthony Elanga slotted home in the 58th minute, but the goal was disallowed by VAR for offside against the former Manchester United forward.
Reinvigorated by that escape, Tottenham doubled their lead in the 65th minute thanks to Turner’s catastrophe.
The Forest keeper’s weak clearance only reached Kulusevski and he danced into the area before drilling a powerful shot that beat Turner’s limp attempted save at the near post.
Bissouma saw red in the 70th minute, dismissed for a high tackle on Ryan Yates after referee Jarred Gillett was advised to consult the pitchside monitor.
Forest pressed in vain in the closing stages, with Neco Williams’ deflected effort flashing just wide for a corner that forced Vicario to make a superb save from Harry Toffolo’s header.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Topics mentioned in this article