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Nottingham Forest v Spurs, 09.11.22


Forest scorers:-
Lodi, 50
Lingard, 57

Attendance:- 28,384

Referee:- Peter Bankes
Assistants:- Edward Smart, Nick Greenhalgh
Fourth Official:- Michael Salisbury

Forest (4-3-1-2):- Hennessy; Aurier (sub N. Williams,62, Worrall(Capt.), Boly, Lodi; Yates, Mangala, O’Brien (sub Colback, 79); Lingard (sub S. Cook, 78); Awoniyi (sub Johnson, 62), Surridge (sub Gibbs-White, 79)

Subs not used:- Henderson; Soh; Freuler, Dennis

Booked:- Lingard (foul on Bissouma), Mangala (foul on Spence)

Sent off (75 mins):- Mangala (foul on Richarlison, second yellow card)

Spurs (3-5-2):- Forster; Sanchez, Dier, Lenglet; Doherty (sub Spence, 65), Hojbjerg(sub Bentancur, 46), Bissouma, Skipp (sub Kulusevski, 59), Sessegnon; Kane (Capt.) (sub Gil, 59), Perisic (sub Richarlison, 59)
(Armband to Dier)

Subs not used:- Lloris; Tanganga; Emerson Royal, Sarr

Booked:- Bissouma (foul on Yates), Kulusevski (foul on Gibbs-White), Bentancur (Dissent), Dier (unsporting conduct)

Abysmal Spurs beaten by bottom club

Nottingham Forest v Spurs, 09.11.22

As a resident of Chesterfield, I was home by 10.40pm. That was nice. Spurs were abysmal. Conte has to be held to task, starting with the same defensive style (if not the same personnel) as he did against Liverpool. Forest are bottom of the league. Steve Cooper made 9 changes. Forest had more energy, desire and enterprise than did Spurs. They thoroughly deserved their win. There is hardly a good word to say about any of our outfield players. The service to the two up front was not good. Forster played well and made several good and vital saves. Whether by accident or design, Spurs have cleared a few potential dates from their diaries. The week before Christmas is now free of football and three possible January/February fixtures can be forgotten.

Spurs’ priority, and that of Conte, is clearly Saturday’s Premier League game against Leeds, and to progress and qualify for the Champions League. With that in mind it is somewhat surprising that there were only four changes to our starting line-up against Liverpool. Forster made his competitive debut, Doherty replaced Emerson Royal, Sanchez replaced Davies and Oliver Skipp started in place of Bentancur. It was the same turgid 3-5-2 formation and Spurs playing style is so, so predictable. With just two up front we were always struggling to do anything effective when going forward.

One or two questions were answered for me tonight. Oliver Skipp and Bryan Gil are too lightweight for "big boys’ football". Gil replaced the "tired" Harry Kane after 59 minutes and was easily shoved off the ball by his opponents, who defended in numbers after Mangala was sent off for a second yellow after 75 minutes. Bissouma had a good first half, but he too was struggling in the second, running into rather than away from trouble and also being forced off the ball. Spurs expected, but got little support from referee Peter Bankes, who like most officials these days, seemed to allow more contact than that which Spurs find acceptable.

If part of the strategy was to give players some rest (Bentancur replaced Hojbjerg at half-time), why wasn’t Djed Spence given a start? He’s had so little football and was full of beans, and some impact too. Kulusevski and Richarlison came off the bench, but by then Forest were two goals to the good and happy to get their players behind the ball. Of course, they haven’t had an arduous European campaign to negotiate.

There was a good crowd with a full travelling contingent. Forest kicked off, but within two minutes Hojbjerg had sent a decent ball forward for Kane, but goalkeeper Hennessy - once of Wolves, Crystal Palace, and Burnley, and going to the World Cup with Wales – was first to the ball.

After five minutes and good approach work by Jesse Lingard, Yates had a shot well blocked by Hojbjerg. The ball looped over the Spurs goal for a corner. After a foul on Doherty as he advanced down the right flank, Perisic took the free kick but Dier headed over. At the other end, Forster was called upon to make his first pressure save after an attempted clearance by Sanchez rebounded off Awoniyi and hit the post. Lingard followed-up but Forster stretched and saved.

Spurs had a decent move forward following Dier’s long pass, but Perisic and Kane were crowded out. After Spurs lost the ball in midfield, Lingard hit a shot which was deflected wide for a corner. After the corner, taken by Lodi, Yates had the ball at the back post, but Spurs blocked and the referee found an offence in any case.

The game slowed down and Spurs began to assert some control without putting Hennessy under any real pressure. Spurs won four corners, two of which were punched clear by Hennessy, before both Dier and Sanchez headed over the target. Perisic had a powerful cross/shot blocked and the ball ran to Doherty who hit a strong shot, well saved by Hennessy. Sanchez headed over again following the corner.

Harry Kane had to clear in his own box after a Lodi corner taken from the right.

Hojbjerg had taken a knock before half-time and Bentancur was seen warming up during the break. Spurs kicked off, but within two minutes, Forster was in action, strongly parrying a shot by Lingard. Forest scored their first goal after Bissouma was denied a foul and was caught in possession in midfield. Bissouma had been running into rather than away from opponents at this point. Forest broke forward at pace with Lingard offering the pass to Lodi who was to the left of the area. He beat Forster inside his left post with a curled right foot shot.

Bissouma was at fault again with a poor pass and Lingard broke forward, this time setting up Surridge who forced a great save by Forster. Forster had to save again from Surridge. Spurs were just not at the races and they went two down after an attack broke down. Sessegnon was behind the play (not unusual) and after a deep cross from the right, Surridge headed back across goal. Lingard rose and headed jut inside Forster’s left post with the keeper at full stretch, having been drawn towards his right post by the original cross.

Conte made three immediate substitutions. Perisic, Skipp and Kane were replaced by Richarlison, Kulusevski and Gil, respectively. Spurs had to attack, but Forest defended well. Serge Aurier had been Forest’s right back and when he was replaced by Neco Williams, Aurier was booed off by some Spurs fans, which I thought was ungracious.

Forster saved well with his feet when Mangala sent Forest sub Brennan Johnson away. The Forest team and their fans were truly enjoying and expressing themselves whilst Spurs were lethargic in comparison. Richarlison had a close range effort blocked after a corner, but the referee had spotted a foul anyway. Despite Mangala being sent off for two bookable offences Spurs were unable to break through. Richarlison dragged another effort woefully wide after Mangala had been sent off.

Steve Cooper put on three more substitutes. Spence had added energy down the Spurs right flank, and he at least forced a save by Hennessy who tipped over a header by the former Forest loan player. Richarlison headed into the net from a Dier cross, but he had been offside. The game was up for Spurs and Dier was booked in his frustration when a Forest ball-boy was not quick enough for him.

Spurs have now lost four of their last seven games. Antonio Conte said Kane was “really, really tired”,saying "It's only fatigue but it's normal because Harry played every game." Kane has indeed started 21 consecutive games and his tiredness is no surprise. The trouble is most of the other players also looked tired, and Saturday’s game against Leeds will need an energetic and more positive approach all round.

· Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
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