Tottenham 3-1 Nottingham Forest: Harry Kane brace tightens Spurs grip on the top four

 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Harry Kane scored a first-half brace as Tottenham beat Nottingham Forest 3-0 to go six points clear of fifth-placed Liverpool in the Premier League’s top four.

Richarlison, handed a rare start just days after appearing to criticise Antonio Conte, latched onto a brilliant early ball from Oliver Skipp and hit a lethal finish past Keylor Navas, though VAR intervention ruled the goal out.

As has so often been the case at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this season, the game felt flat. While Forest put Spurs under little pressure, there was even less in the way of clear-cut opportunities until Kane popped up with his first.

Industrious work from Richarlison saw him shrug off Jonjo Shelvey and cross from the byline, from which Ben Davies did well to recover. The Welshman’s outstretched leg took the ball to Pedro Porro, who dinked in a teasing ball to the England captain.

Kane glanced the header back across Navas to score his 19th Premier League goal of the season and the 20th would soon follow. More industry from Richarlison brought a reckless challenge from Joe Worrall and a penalty was duly awarded ten minutes before the break. Kane stepped up and scored the spot to give Spurs a commanding lead at half-time.

Heung-min Son would add a third in the second-half, again following good work from Richarlison.

Impressive: Richarlison justified his starting berth with a big performance for Spurs (Action Images via Reuters)
Impressive: Richarlison justified his starting berth with a big performance for Spurs (Action Images via Reuters)

The Brazilian latched onto a lovely through ball from Cristian Romero and was offered two chances to cross to the onrushing South Korean, who did well to twist and turn following a deft first touch and fires in a crisp left-footed finish.

Worrall scored a late consolation for Forest after Fraser Forster made a hash of a corner, though the goalkeeper would make ammends by saving Andre Ayew’s late penalty following Dejan Kulusevski’s handball in the box.

With Liverpool losing at Bournemouth earlier on Saturday, it proved a big win and opens up the potential for Spurs to establish a massive lead over Jurgen Klopp’s side, who do not play in the League until next month’s trip to Manchester City.

There is not much certainty about Tottenham right now amid major question marks about both the ownership and the manager. If Kane and Son can keep stepping up, however, fourth spot surely belongs to them.