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Nottingham Forest 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Richarlison and Kulusevski strike to see 10-man Spurs pile pressure on Cooper

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The first Premier League game of the match week saw Nottingham Forest welcome Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham Hotspur to the City Ground.

Reds boss Steve Cooper was in a fight to keep his job, having not won in his last five games and finding himself in desperate need of points against a Spurs side who put four past Newcastle United last time out.
NFO: Turner; Boly, Murillo, Niakhate; Williams, Yates, Mangala, Kouyate, Toffolo; Elanga, Gibbs-White
TOT: Vicario; Porro, Romero, Davies, Udogie; Sarr, Bissouma; Kulusevski, Johnson, Son; Richarlison
With Forest desperate for a result, they proceeded to press Spurs from the beginning, but were given an early warning of how clinical Ange
Postecoglou’s side were when Dejan Kulusevski’s ball over the top of the defence found Heung-Min Son in the Forest box.
The South Korean then, in truth, failed to test Matt Turner in the Forest goal with a fairly tame effort from close-range.
Forest didn’t record their first effort on goal until the 19th minute, where Anthony Elanga was released through on goal by Neco Williams,
and the Swede did force a save out of Guglielmo Vicario. However, the linesman’s flag halted anything from coming to fruition.
Brennan Johnson, born and bred in Nottingham, had a chance to put the visitors in front following excellent work from Dejan Kulusevski in the central area,
but the Spurs winger’s directed his shot just wide of the far post. Unfortunately, for Johnson, later in the half, he would be replaced by Oliver Skipp following a head injury.
Down the other end, Cheikou Kouyate had the best chance of the game so far as following a flick-on in the box, the Senegalese
midfielder narrowly missed the header from a few yards out, but again, the linesman’s flag was already up.
As the game entered first-half stoppage time, Spurs did take the lead, and it was a brilliantly crafted team goal.
Pape Sarr began the move by switching the play out to the right hand side, where Dejan Kulusevski was making a run down the right.
The Swedish international then cut inside and whipped the ball towards Richarlison, who headed home from
close range.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 15: Richarlison of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring their team’s first goal with Son Heung-min during the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur at City Ground on December 15, 2023 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

With the second half just minutes old, Anthony Elanga took the ball down well inside the Spurs box and looked to fire home, but his effort instead flew well over the bar.
The home side thought they had pulled level with just under an hour gone as Elanga smashed home from Neco Williams’ cross in from the right hand side, but after VAR consultation, referee Jarred Gillett ruled the former Manchester United man offside.

 

Spurs had been on the back foot so far in this second half, but a horrible mistake from Forest goalkeeper Matt Turner allowed Ange Postecoglou’s side to increase their advantage.
The American’s mishit clearance travelled only as far as Heung-Min Son, who then found Dejan Kulusevski down the right hand side.
And then, from the narrowest of angles, Kulusevski smashed the ball home at the near post to make matters more comfortable for the North London side

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 15: Dejan Kulusevski of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring their team’s second goal with teammate Richarlison during the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur at City Ground on December 15, 2023 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Although, just moments after Spurs increased their lead, they found themselves down to ten men.
Yves Bissouma left a rash challenge on Forest midfielder Ryan Yates, which the Frenchman was given a booking for originally.
Following an on-field review, however, Jarred Gillett then rescinded the yellow card and proceeded to give Bissouma a red card instead – his second of the season.
With just seven minutes to go, Morgan Gibbs-White sent a wonderful cross in from a corner,
which found Harry Toffolo at the near post, but as it looked like it was nestling into the bottom corner,
Guglielmo VIcario pulled off a fine stop to keep the Forest left-back’s header out. Gibbs-White himself also saw a header go just wide moments later.
Both sides continue their festive periods next Saturday, as Nottingham Forest play hosts to Andoni Iraola’s Bournemouth, and Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs welcome Everton to North London – both kick off at 3pm.

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