Football, Premier League

Tottenham vs Nottm Forest: Comfortable win sees Spurs back in top 4

Spurs defeated struggling Nottingham Forest 3-1 at home, with goals from defenders Micky van de Ven and Pedro Porro in the second half propelling the team into the top four.

Although Ange Postecoglou’s team was lucky to be tied at halftime, they outperformed Aston Villa in the second half to increase their chances of playing in the Champions League and move up to fourth place on goal differential.

After minutes earlier, the defender almost scored an incredible first goal from inside his own half, Murillo’s own goal gave Spurs a 15th-minute lead.

Chris Wood’s equaliser in the 27th minute put the home team under pressure, and seven minutes later the Forest striker’s two-yard shot against the post should have put them behind.

Spurs capitalised on the crucial error, as Van van Ven’s powerful goal (52) gave them the lead again early in the second half.

Six minutes later, Porro gave Spurs a two-goal lead with a powerful strike at the back post, ending Forest’s run of three straight wins and lifting them above 18th-place Luton on goal difference and out of the relegation zone.

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou:

“Had a little bit of everything, I guess. We started the game well enough and apart from the goal, we had a good grip on it. But when they scored, we lost our way towards the end of the first half and Vic had to make a good save to keep us in it.

“Second half, we were really dominant. There were good contributions from everyone, scored a couple of goals and maybe could’ve scored a few more.

“I don’t care who wins [the Premier League title race], but we’ll be in there fighting for ourselves and seeing how far we can push ourselves for us to build our foundations. Hopefully we’re one of the teams in the title race.”

On half-time subs: “It wasn’t about being happy, we just needed some energy. Three games in a week, I have a luxury now of having a squad, which I didn’t have for a big part of the year so why not utilise them?

“We’ve got a tough run-in, we’re going to need the whole squad so it’s good to have that available.”

Nottingham Forest manager Nuno Espírito Santo when questioned about Maddison’s off-the-ball incident with Yates:

“For me, it’s clear. There are two moments in the first half we can speak about. That situation, I think it’s a red card. I think Maddison loses his composure and he reacts.

“I’m surprised VAR didn’t saw it and I’m surprised Simon [Hooper] pretended like nothing happened.

“Then the clear chance we had with Chris in the first half that went onto the post. That could change the game.”

On the game: “In the first half, we were playing the game imagined. We performed well, good movements, it is difficult to stop Tottenham, but we managed to control them at least.

“We had good spells and managed to achieve a goal. We had chances.

“The second half was not good. In the beginning, we were too passive to allow the shot and then it becomes very hard. That’s disappointing because we wanted to keep on going. We felt that we could do much better.

“It’s a fight and we’ll keep on fighting. We’re here to fight until the end, the players have the character until the last minute. This gives us confidence.”

On Saturday, Tottenham returns to Premier League action when they visit Newcastle.

On the same day, Nottingham Forest plays a match against Wolves.

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