Tottenham 3-1 Nottingham Forest: Player ratings as Spurs strengthen top four hopes

Sean Walsh
Spurs were victorious
Spurs were victorious / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

FROM TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR STADIUM - Tottenham ended a run of three games without a win by comfortably beating Nottingham Forest.

The pressure on Antonio Conte may have been unsustainable if his side were unable to beat the Premier League's worst team on the road, but Spurs bounced back from Champions League heartbreak on Wednesday to move six points clear of sixth-placed Liverpool.

Forest were poor throughout in north London and remain right up against it in the fight to avoid relegation.

Tottenham thought they had made the best possible start just two minutes into the game. Oliver Skipp played a perfectly-weighted ball over the top of the defence, between centre-back Felipe and left-back Renan Lodi, releasing Richarlison into the penalty area, with the Brazilian - criticised by head coach Antonio Conte for his poor finishing record this season - firing into the roof of the net.

But with a VAR check which lasted nearly as long as the game to that point, Richarlison's shoulder was deemed offside and his first Premier League goal for Spurs was chalked off.

Spurs did take the lead legally midway through the first half. Richarlison's chipped ball through the box was rescued by Ben Davies, who hooked it back out for Pedro Porro to cross, delicately finding Harry Kane to head in the opener.

Soon after, the hosts were awarded a penalty when Joe Worrall scythed down Richarlison, and Kane went straight down the middle from the spot to double the lead.

A deflected shot from Jonjo Shelvey trickled wide in stoppage time as a weak Forest went into the break two goals down.

Steve Cooper threw Andre Ayew and Emmanuel Dennis on at half-time to try and help stem the tide, but they nearly conceded a third goal from the off, with Son Heung-min slipping in Richarlison, only for Lodi to block his shot from close range.

At the other end, Felipe looped an effort over the top after meeting a high free-kick and Brennan Johnson fired a strike into Fraser Forster's grateful grasp as Forest showed some minor signs of life.

But just as the visitors thought they were fighting back, Spurs added their third. Porro and Cristian Romero combined well to progress the ball to Richarlison on the counter, and at the second time of asking, a deep cross found Son, who controlled well and slotted home with his weaker left foot.

Former Spurs defender Serge Aurier went close to putting in a consolation, with his thumping header well saved by Forster.

Dennis fired a strike low at Forster's near post soon after with the imposing goalkeeper again equal to it, before a Ben Davies header was tipped wide by Keylor Navas with Richarlison once more lurking.

Worrall nodded one in with under ten minutes remaining, with a deflected cross from a corner ricocheting off his head and bouncing in after Forster missed the initial delivery.

Substitute Dejan Kulusevski somehow was unable to grab his first goal since January when he shifted in from the right and was denied by the leg of Navas, and the Swede gave away a penalty deep into stoppage time for handball.

Ayew took the ball but saw his effort saved by Forster as Spurs sealed the points.

Tottenham player ratings (3-4-3)

Son Heung-Min, Richarlison, Harry Kane
What a trio / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

GK: Fraser Forster - 7/10 - Didn't have a lot to do, but distributed the ball well and made saves when called upon.

CB: Cristian Romero - 8/10 - Much, much calmer today than he was on Wednesday night. Spurs defend with so much confidence when he's tame.

CB: Eric Dier - 7/10 - Largely fine and organised the backline, though was made to look a fool by Lingard and Ayew on a couple of occasions.



CB: Clement Lenglet - 6/10 - Glided into midfield and down the wing at will.

RM: Pedro Porro - 8/10 - Technically excellent and a constant threat when in possession. Had a hand in all three goals.

CM: Oliver Skipp - 7/10 - Lunged into challenges and made his presence known in the midfield battle. Played some excellent cross-field passes.

CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg - 6/10 - An almost identical game to his midfield partner but to a slightly lower standard.

LM: Ben Davies - 6/10 - Didn't offer too much on the ball but stretched play and had a huge hand in the opening goal.

RF: Richarlison - 9/10 - Conte wanted a response off his Brazilian number nine and he sure got one. Ever so cruelly denied a first Premier League goal but was otherwise the protagonist of a happy day for Tottenham.

LF: Son Heung-min - 8/10 - Largely an off-ball presence, darting in behind former teammate Aurier and eventually being found by Richarlison.

CF: Harry Kane - 9/10 - Two goals and bent Forest effortlessly when dropping into midfield to free up his forward co-stars.


Dejan Kulusevski (84' for Richarlison) - N/A

Lucas Moura (84' for Son) - N/A

Pape Sarr (90' for Skipp) - N/A


Antonio Conte - 8/10 - Far, far more animated on the touchline than in recent months.

Nottingham Forest player ratings (4-3-3)

Keylor Navas
Navas did all he could / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

GK: Keylor Navas - 6/10 - Couldn't do a lot about any of the goals. Kept the score down.

RB: Serge Aurier - 5/10 - A little jaded but not too reckless on his return to north London.

CB: Joe Worrall - 3/10 - Gave away a silly penalty, but also scored a goal he knew little about. Swings and roundabouts?

CB: Felipe - 4/10 - Got far too tight to Kane, who was able to continuously turn him with ease.

LB: Renan Lodi - 2/10 - Eaten alive by Richarlison and Porro.

CM: Jonjo Shelvey - 5/10 - At least tried to unlock Spurs with his excellent passing range.

CM: Orel Mangala - 2/10 - Consistently failed to play simple passes and keep possession. Withdrawn at the break.

CM: Remo Freuler - 4/10 - Didn't do very much at either end.

RW: Morgan Gibbs-White - 4/10 - Drifted across the frontline trying but failed to make an impact.

CF: Brennan Johnson - 3/10 - Snuffed out of the game by Dier and Romero.

LW: Jesse Lingard - 2/10 - Offered absolutely nothing and was rightly hooked at half-time.


Andre Ayew (46' for Mangala) - 3/10

Emmanuel Dennis (46' for Lingard) - 5/10

Ryan Yates (68' for Freuler) - 4/10

Chris Wood (68' for Johnson) - N/A

Neco Williams (73' for Wood) - 4/10


Steve Cooper - 3/10 - Forest played without urgency, intensity and aggression. They deservedly leave as losers.

Player of the match - Harry Kane (Tottenham)