Tottenham Hotspur strengthened their hold on fourth spot as Harry Kane‘s double helped them to a 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday.
After being given a pre-match boost by Bournemouth’s earlier shock 1-0 win over fifth-placed Liverpool, Tottenham took full advantage to get their stalling season back on the rails.
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“We have only 11 games to go, we needed to bounce back and show that we are strong mentally because in this type of situation the morale can be really down,” Spurs boss Antonio Conte said. “Instead I saw the right desire to get a win.”
Kane headed them in front after 19 minutes and then blasted home a penalty in the 35th minute after Richarlison, who had earlier been denied a second-minute opener by VAR, was tripped inside the area.
It was Kane’s first penalty since his crucial miss for England against France in the World Cup quarterfinal in Qatar in December and took his Premier League haul to 20 for the season, the sixth time he has reached that mark.
Tottenham — who went out of the FA Cup and the Champions League and lost to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the league in their last three games — sealed the points on 62 minutes when Richarlison set up Son Heung-min for a neat finish.
Forest, in danger of being sucked back into the relegation zone after a resurgence, only came alive when it was too late with captain Joe Worrall heading home in the 81st minute. Andre Ayew then had a stoppage-time penalty saved by Tottenham keeper Fraser Forster.
“We missed the penalty and if we’d scored that, you never know. Stranger things have happened,” Forest manager Steve Cooper said. “The first half was a poor performance and, in the end, was the part that cost us the game.”
Victory was a timely boost for Tottenham manager Conte whose future at the club has been the source of intense speculation since Wednesday’s Champions League elimination at the hands of AC Milan.
His side have 48 points from 27 games, with Liverpool on 42 points having played a game less. Forest stay in 14th but are only three points above 18th-placed West Ham United in the relegation zone.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Nottingham Forest – Football Match Report – March 11, 2023