Tottenham Secures 2-0 Victory Over Nottingham Forest in Intense Match

Nottingham Forest suffered their fifth defeat in six Premier League matches as ten-man Tottenham asserted their ambitions to finish in the top four at the City Ground.

Richarlison’s third goal in two games paved the way for Spurs’ victory, with Dejan Kulusevski outstandingly securing the win for Ange Postecoglou’s team. Yves Bissouma received a red card in the 70th minute.

The result brings Tottenham, currently in fifth place, level on points with Manchester City, although the reigning champions have played one game less.

Nottingham Forest, positioned 16th in the table with a five-point gap from the relegation zone, has now won only once in their last 13 matches in the English top flight. The outcome of this match is likely to intensify the pressure on manager Steve Cooper.

Despite moments of promise and considerable effort from his team, they lacked composure and quality in the opponent’s penalty area, qualities Tottenham demonstrated at crucial moments.

Tottenham controlled much of the first half, during which they lost Brennan Johnson to a head injury. They deservedly took the lead just before halftime when Brazilian forward Richarlison headed in from Kulusevski’s superb cross from the right.

The hosts had a promising start to the second half, and Willy Boly missed arguably their best chance to level, shooting over from just inside the visitors’ penalty area.

Cooper’s side briefly thought they had equalized just before the 60th minute, but the VAR correctly ruled that Anthony Elanga had strayed offside before scoring from Neco Williams’ cross.

Two errors from goalkeeper Matt Turner sealed their fate, as the American passed the ball directly to Kulusevski before allowing the powerful shot from the Swedish winger to beat him at the near post.

Tottenham goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario’s impressive save from Harry Toffolo’s close-range 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 Center Stage on a Difficult Night for Cooper
While Son Heung-min played a starring role in Tottenham’s thrashing of Newcastle last Sunday, Kulusevski was the inspiration at the City Ground.

The former Juventus player was a constant threat and excelled after switching to the right flank when Johnson left the field with a head injury following a nasty clash with his former teammate Boly.

Kulusevski’s curling and speedy delivery for Richarlison’s opener left Turner stranded, giving the Brazilian an easy chance to score in consecutive games for the first time as a Tottenham player.

And when Forest seemed to be rallying, Kulusevski got the goal his performance deserved, evading Moussa Niakhate before emphatically driving the ball past Turner to give his team a valuable cushion.

With captain Son expected to feature for South Korea at the Asian Cup in January, the form of Kulusevski and Richarlison, described as a “goal-mouth monster” by his manager, comes 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,” said Postecoglou.z z z z z z z z z z z z

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

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

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

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