Kane Cuts Down Plucky Forest

Nottingham Forest 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Premier League) 28.08.22

A goal in each half for England striker Harry Kane helped Tottenham to their third win of the season as they chopped down the Forest attack to leave the City Ground with all three points and go third in the Premier League table.

The home crowd electric as ever, buoyed on their team throughout the ninety minutes and were in rampant voice as the two sides kicked off in the Sunday sun in front of Sky cameras, the Reds immediately on the front foot with Spurs unable to seek a stronghold in the possession stakes.

For Forest’s endeavour, however it was Tottenham’s attack, clinically lead by Harry Kane who scuffed his 200th career league goal after a ricochet in the middle of the park off Lewis O’Brien fell kindly into the path of Kulusevski who ran onto onto before supplying his number nine. Kane from twenty yards struck low into the corner as Scott McKenna came rushing too late to block, Henderson unsighted, just stood and watched it go by, five gone and the Reds already one down.

Far from out though, Forest played tiki-taka around the Spurs box with no real threat of testing Hugo Lloris in the visitor’s goal. The front three of Lingard, Johnson and Gibbs-White often pleasing on the eye, without having the umph to really trouble the impressive Davinson Sanchez and Tottenham’s stringent back line.

The Reds best chances came from wide positions, Johnson twice playing into the six-yard box with no one gambling to take advantage, Gibbs-White on the break swinging a fantastic ball across, almost, to Jesse Lingard, but Lloris would read the danger.

At the other end, Son would blaze over, as would Perisic, but in the first 45, Forest were more than a match for their Champions League bound opponents, dominating possession and hunting them down with spirit and work rate that had the home crowd applaud them off at the break despite the score.

The second period started much the same with Forest on the front foot, but opened up somewhat more in Tottenham’s favour, a cross from the left looked to be reaching the head of Kane on 53 but a flailing arm from Steve Cook stopped that happening, Kane probably would have scored, Cook probably should have been sent off, but a yellow card and penalty awarded was perhaps the kindest outcome for Forest.

After a long delay for VAR checks, Kane stepped up right footed and shot low but Dean Henderson knows a thing or two about saving penalties from England team-mates, and as he did against Declan Rice of West Ham a fortnight ago, Henderson guessed right to brilliantly save from the England captain, the City Ground roaring into life as the Manchester United loanee milked the applause and celebration.

That save gave Forest a lift but the Reds couldn’t quite breach the Spurs back line, Yates going closest with a header wide whilst the away side looking dangerous on the counter-attack, Kulusevski often proving a threat, going close with a couple of efforts wide.

As the game stretched and legs tired, a number of substitutes were made by both sides late on and it was one of those who’s impact proved biggest on 81, after Spurs broke through Sessegnon, McKenna blocked his cross but Richarlison beat Neco Williams to the ball and played a superb cross outside of the foot to Harry Kane, standing waiting as good strikers do, in between the posts to head home from six yards out.

Always seemingly the party villain, Richarlison had time to upset the whole of Nottingham as he played keepy uppy with the ball with his side two up, for his showboating troubles he got up-ended by Brennan Johnson who might have seen red, a worthy booking however for a player who worked hard, and often threatened himself, the Reds in the end though falling short, against a team well drilled, that will no doubt be in contention for a top four (or better) spot come May.

For Forest, they drop down to fourteenth with four points from four games played, they’ll be looking to finish at least top four of the bottom teams come seasons end, but there’s certainly more optimism than just survival for this set of players, Forest play good attacking football and are prepared to go toe-to-toe with their opponents, Steve Cooper again proud of his teams display, they’ll certainly continue to find things tough against those at the top of the Premier League echelons, but against the rest, they’ll be feeling they can beat anyone on their day.

Champions Manchester City next up on Wednesday night in what will be a formidable challenge at the Etihad, but after that, some really winnable games for Nottingham Forest to get their teeth right into.

Nottingham Forest: Henderson, Worrall, Cook (Awoniyi 75), McKenna, Williams, Yates (Kouyate 75), O’Brien (Freuler 75), Toffolo, Lingard (Dennis 69), Johnson, Gibbs-White.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Emerson, Hojberg, Bentancur (Spence 90), Perisic (Sessegnon 74), Kulusevski (Bissouma 83), Son (Richarlison 74), Kane.

Venue: City Ground

*Main image @NFFC Steve Cook tussles with Harry Kane for the ball.

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