Spurs move up to third after a hard-fought victory at the City Ground. Forest will take plenty of encouragement from a bright attacking performance, particularly in the first half, but Spurs were typically clinical on the counter-attack and deserved to win. Harry Kane scored twice and had a penalty saved by Dean Henderson, while Richarlison provided some levity with a cameo that was both provocative and brilliant.
90+7 min A Forest corner ricochets around the Spurs box before Worrall wafts over from 10 yards. It was a pretty good chance.
90+5 min Dennis, who has been lively since coming on, is fouled just outside the area by Hojbjerg. Dennis takes the free-kick himself and hits the wall.
90+3 min There will be eight minutes of added time. Hojbjerg goes down holding his face after a hand-off from Kouyate, but there was nothing in it.
90+2 min Henderson makes an excellent save to deny Richarlison, who was played in by Hojbjerg, and Spence makes a mess of the follow-up.
90+1 min A substitution apiece. Sam Surridge for Brennan Johnson (Forest), and Djed Spence for a groggy Rodrigo Bentancur (Spurs). Spence gets a nice ovation from the Forest fans after his role in their promotion.
90 min Here’s that brilliant assist from Richarlison.
88 min “There was discussion earlier about Richarlison,” says Jeff Sachs. “He is a [redacted, six letters]. Waste of money.”
The economy of this email is delightful.
87 min For all their bright play, particularly in the first half, Forest have had only one shot on target. But I do still think this has been an encouraging performance. Spurs are a seriously good side, and Forest have made them work for this.
86 min Richarlison has had quite an impact, one way and another. “He just winds people up, that lad,” says Jamie Carragher on Sky.
85 min Richarlison starts showboating on the left, playing keepy-uppy for no particular reason. Brennan Johnson hoofs him straight up in the air and is booked.
84 min Kouyate is booked for a naughty kick at Kane’s ankle.
83 min Kane was booked for his celebration. And Dejan Kulusevski has been replaced by Bissouma.
McKenna made a great block to stop Sessegnon giving Kane a goal, but it was all in vain. Richarlison retrieved the ball on the left, muscled a defender out of the way and waved a majestic cross with the outside of the right foot. Kane, unmarked at the far post, stooped to head into the empty net from five yards.
Harry Kane gets his second!
80 min Dennis cuts into the area from the left, shifts onto his right foot and spanks over from 15 yards. It was a decent effort, though he was running away from goal by the time he made contact.
80 min “O’Brien and Toffolo have been two really good signings,” says Matt Turland. “Smart for the now as they’ve shown they can make the step up and smart for the future if Forest do drop back down. And O’Brien just seems to be full of running which always goes down well at the City Ground (and every other stadium, probably).”
79 min At the other end, Kulusevski’s low cross is screwed well wide by Richarlison in front of the near post. Again, not much of a chance.
79 min Gibbs-White’s cross from the left is headed up in the air by the backpedalling Sessegnon. Johnson fights for the dropping ball with Davies but heads well wide. It wasn’t much of a chance.
77 min Interestingly, Spurs are now playing with Richarlison as the No9 and Kane on the left. Is that interesting? I shouldn’t be so presumptuous; tactics aren’t for everyone.
76 min Richarlison’s first involvement is to go down holding his privates after an aerial challenge with Toffolo. He was kicked (accidentally) in the business area, but it took him about 10 seconds to go down. Anyway, he’s fine.
75 min: Triple substitution for Forest Remo Freuler, Cheikhou Kouyate and Taiwo Awoniyi replace Lewis O’Brien, Steve Cook and Ryan Yates.
73 min: Double substitution for Spurs Ryan Sessegnon and Richarlison replace Ivan Perisic and Son.
73 min O’Brien is booked for a cynical foul on Kane.
73 min “Good to see Forest’s midfield clicking,” says Peter Oh. “I wonder if today’s encouraging performance is a one-off, or there’s more Toffolo. I’ll see myself to the door now thank you.”
72 min Johnson founds Neco Williams in space on the right of the area, but his cross is poor and Bentancur clears. Still, this is far from comfortable from Spurs.
70 min Kulusevski has another shot blocked, this time by McKenna.
70 min: Forest substitution Emmanuel Dennis replaces Jesse Lingard, who faded slightly after a very bright first half.
69 min Spurs break three on two. Kane plays in Hojbjerg, who shoots into the side netting when he should have crossed.
67 min Kulusevski dances elegantly infield, away from a couple of defenders, before driving a shot that is crucially blocked by the stretching Cook. Kulusevski has been one of the bargains of the year.
66 min “You call Forest’s football infectious, my friend,” says Ian Copestake, “but I fear Matt Turland has had one inoculation too many.”
64 min Another chance for Spurs. Son finds Kulusevski on the right-hand side. He cuts infield, drags the ball away from McKenna onto his right foot and shoots a few yards wide of the far post.
63 min Toffolo, who looks an excellent attacking wing-back, wins another corner for Forest. Gibbs-White’s deep corner is headed back across goal towards Yates, whose looping header under pressure is comfortably saved by Lloris.
62 min: Good save from Henderson! Son breaks into the area, cuts onto his left foot and hammers a shot that is beaten away by Henderson. It was straight at him, essentially, and on reflection maybe Son should have scored.
61 min Kane turns McKenna, who pulls him back and is booked. That was a classic bit of City Ground forward play: Brian Clough loved centre-forwards like Garry Birtles and Tony Woodcock who were expert at rolling defenders.
60 min “The lack of a sponsor on Nottm Forest’s shirt is taking me back to the early days of MLS,” says Lucy Wesson. “I still have my DC United shirts, sans sponsor. I love it!”
And I love this video.