Micky van de Ven of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his team's second goal against Nottingham Forest.Micky van de Ven of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his team's second goal against Nottingham Forest.
Micky van de Ven of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his team's second goal against Nottingham Forest.

Tottenham Hotspur player ratings vs Nottingham Forest: Two 7s and several 6s as Spurs go fourth

A late Sunday afternoon kick-off saw Spurs beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Despite a shaky 20 minutes in the lead-up to half time, Spurs largely dominated to earn a 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

After dropping points at West Ham, and watching Aston Villa drop points against Brentford, this was a big game for Tottenham. A win would take them to fourth on goal difference with a game in hand.

For Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo it was a return to his former club, where things ended so abruptly, in the hopes of keeping the survival dream alive.

It was a rapid start for Spurs, two corners in the opening minutes and James Maddison pulling the strings. 10 minutes in, he may have had more touches than the Forest team combined.

It was all Spurs and in the 15th minute Son Heung-Min played in Timo Werner. Onside, he put the ball across for an own goal from Murillo. One-nil to the home team.

An identical cross later in the half saw Brennan Johnson denied by a superb save from Matz Sels.

But Spurs seem unable to keep a clean sheet and in the 27th minute Anthony Elanga put the ball across for Chris Wood to finish. One-all.

Woods could have put his team in front after he pounced on the ball when a fine one-handed save from keeper Guglielmo Vicario stopped Ryan Yates’s shot, only to see his rocket ping off the post.

Having been so in control of the game, manager Ange Postecoglou will have been disappointed to see Forest become such a threat.

Johnson nearly drew a second own-goal with a deflected strike late in the half, but the team needed a rocket at half time to tighten up at the back and find some ruthlessness up front.

It was in midfield that Postecoglou made the changes, Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg coming on for Pape Matar Sarr and Yves Bissouma.

It nearly paid off immediately, with Hojbjerg drawing a fine save with a long-range effort 90 seconds into the half.

But it did not take long for the goal to come. A short corner found its way to Son in the box. Short of a sight of goal, he laid it off to Micky van de Ven, who absolutely spanked it into the roof of the net. Two-one to Spurs.

The late-first-half doubt was well behind them when Maddison put in a cross for Bentancur to nod the ball on and Pedro Porro to put his boot through it. Three-one to Spurs.

With Tottenham firmly in control, Postecoglou brought off Timo Werner to a standing ovation, along with James Maddison. On came Giovani Lo Celso and Dejan Kulusevski.

Brennan Johnson too got a standing ovation in the losing minutes, substituted for Dane Scarlett.

In the closing stages, the game opened up but further goals elluded the home team.

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