Tottenham Hotspur achieved a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest last night, in which Richarlison scored the opener in stoppage time of the first half.

Dejan Kulusevski followed to double Spurs' advantage, 65 minutes in, securing the win for the North London team.

Despite the victory, Yves Bissouma picked up a three match suspension, after Jarred Gillet dismissed the player for a studs-up tackle on Ryan Yates.

Ange Postecoglou made some defensive changes, including bringing Pierre-Emile Højbjerg on after the red card incident as well as Emerson Royal closer to stoppage time.

Following the win, Tottenham are left in 5th place, four points above sixth placed Newcastle. 

Spurs are also positioned four points away from the top spot, with questions arising about whether they can come back into the title race.

Tottenham continued their record of scoring first, after 11 consecutive Premier League games of upholding the streak.

Prior to the win against Nottingham Forest and Newcastle, Spurs were the team with the most points dropped from scoring first.

Nottingham Forest have dropped down to 17th place from 16th, only five points clear of the relegation zone. Despite the difference in positions between the two sides, Forest still posed significant challenges to the Lily Whites.

Ange Postecoglou’s Post-Match Thoughts

Postecoglou’s thoughts on the result and performance

After the 2-0 win, Ange Postecoglou commented on the quality of the play after Nottingham Forest posed Tottenham some challenges - including having Anthony Elanga’s goal ruled out through VAR after being confirmed offside.

The Spurs manager said: “Yeah I was really pleased with both. We had to earn a win tonight, but it’s a tough place to come. Obviously, they’re desperate for a result and they challenge you in different ways, you know, a lot of balls in the box, throws and free kicks you have to deal with. And I thought for the most part, we handled it really well and still played some decent football, within that we created some good chances and scored two good goals, and then yeah, we had to show some character resilience towards the end there but - even that - I thought we handled it well.”

Complaints made about Bissouma’s red card

Yves Bissouma’s straight red card was under questioning after Jarred Gillet initially distributed a yellow, but VAR changed the decision when the force and nature of the tackle was slowed down for a second look.

Postecoglou said: “Oh no, I assume they slid it down and saw what they saw and you know, you have to cop it.”

Bissouma’s three suspensions being a concern

Ange Postecoglou’s thoughts were that: “Well, it’s an issue but it’s not so much a discipline (issue).  I haven’t seen the slower down version but it was just a desperate lunge more than anything malicious so the guys are, you know, having to sort of learn how to play football without crossing the line but I love the commitment they show. So you know unfortunately, we pay a price now because not just this game he obviously misses a fair chunk of football between now and when he comes back so it’s disappointing but it is what it is.”

Richarlison’s goal

Richarlison scored a header, continuing the consistency of his play and aiming to bring Spurs back into winning ways going into 2024.

The Australian Spurs manager said: ”Yeah Rich has been good and he was good again tonight. Not an easy game - we weren’t going to get a lot of space back there and you know, his impact is in the box and it was a great ball by Deki [Dejan Kulusevski] and you know, that’s what Richie’s really good at - his timing in the air and his ability to, you know, get the ball in the back of the net and those kind of situations were vital for us tonight.”

Richarlison taking charge in ‘the moment’

”Like I said, he’s in a better space physically and mentally (to last season). I said during the week [that] it was hard for him but he soldiered on, but at the same time he knows that when he’s out there people are just assuming that if you’re out there you’re going to perform at a certain level and you can’t make excuses but he’s definitely feeling a lot better about himself physically and mentally now. You know, for a striker, scoring goals is obviously important, but his general all-around play has been really good for us these last couple weeks.”, said Postecoglou.

Brennan Johnson’s injury

Johnson had to be substituted off after a head injury, 32 minutes in, against his former club last night.

The Tottenham boss said: “Yeah he’s going to be ok he’s just got a nasty cut on his head, so it’s nothing that should keep him out. No, no, there’s no concussion - it was just a cut on the head.”

Dejan Kulusevski’s performance

Kulusevski has been among Spurs’ top players this season, and the winger has shown his versatility in the constant changing lineups that Postecoglou has had to put out.

Ange Postecoglou said: ”He was great. You know, he’s been great all year to be fair and I’ve played him in a number of positions and, you know, we started him off in the middle and I thought it was really good and he wasn’t causing any problems and I thought we were looking really strong through that early (period), we created a couple of really good opportunities. Then obviously, Brennan goes off and we have to put him wide, and you know again what he can do out there but we’ve been working really hard with him to become more of a goal threat. We feel like it’s probably the one aspect of his game we still kind of need to bridge the gap and he’s taken that on board and he’s now getting into positions where you know, he can score goals and he has in the last few games. You know, his general work is outstading anyway but he’s got the quality to make it up.”

Links to Chris Davies (Postecoglou’s assistant) becoming Swansea’s manager

Davies has been Postecoglou’s assistant head coach since the introduction of the Spurs manager in June 2023. After their previous coach, Michael Duff, was sacked two weeks ago by Swansea - they have been looking at Davies as a viable replacement.

Postecoglou finished the interview when he said: “No, (there is no transfer) as far as I know, I’m sure if it progresses or if there’s any resolution we will find out in the next few days.”