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Kane brace secures victory at Forest - on-the-whistle report

Nottingham Forest 0-2 Spurs

Sun 28 August 2022, 18:30|Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Kane scored twice but was denied a hat-trick by Dean Henderson's penalty save as we escaped from the City Ground with maximum points on Sunday afternoon.

Taking on Nottingham Forest in the Premier League for the first time since 1999 following their promotion at the end of last season, we led after only five minutes when Kane latched onto Dejan Kulusevski's reverse pass and sent a low shot into the bottom corner of the net. After Henderson kept out the striker's second-half spot-kick following a hand-ball on the goalline by Steve Cook, Kane finally made the game safe with a stooping back-post header from substitute Richarlison's fine cross nine minutes from time.

It certainly wasn't plain sailing though. Roared on by a vocal home following, Forest had spells in the ascendancy, particularly during the first half, but we stood firm and in truth, limited them to only a couple of real chances after the break.

Kane had gone through in the middle shortly after his first goal but was denied by an excellent last-ditch tackle from Forest skipper Joe Worrall before Heung-Min Son and Kane curled respective right-footed shots marginally off-target in the early going.

After a series of set-pieces for the hosts, Lewis O'Brien produced a flying save from Hugo Lloris with a shot from distance while Brennan Johnson and Morgan Gibbs-White also went close for Forest, whose best chance arrived five minutes after the break when Ryan Yates had a free run onto Gibbs-White's cross but planted his header wide.

We stepped up our game after the break, though, and had a chance to double our lead when Cook handled on the line as Kane tried to convert Ivan Perisic's cross from close range. Henderson, though, dived to his right to save the striker's 56th-minute spot-kick. Neco Williams volleyed into the ground but just wide as the home side tried to take advantage while Son's left-footed shot from 10 yards was clawed out by Henderson - although the play became a bit disrupted after that, you always felt we were in control and we duly put the game to bed in the 81st minute when Richarlison recycled a wasted attack and teased over a cross from the left flank with the outside of his right boot which Kane headed home.

Former Forest favourite Djed Spence - who had received a rousing ovation from the home fans before the game - came on for his debut when Rodrigo Bentancur was forced off at the start of eight minutes of additional time, but he fluffed his lines when presented with a late chance to score from close range after Henderson had repelled Richarlison's shot. It was a frenetic end to the game but come the full-time whistle, it was very much job done.

'In the second half, we did much better'

Antonio Conte told SPURSPLAY: "The performance in the first half, we suffered, yes, but we suffered because we were a bit under pressure and a bit scared to play the ball. I didn’t see a lot of passes between the midfielders, which is what we tried in training this week. In the second half, we did much better. In the second half, we dominated the game, scored the second goal, could have scored another with Harry, but I don’t think he missed the penalty, the goalkeeper made a fantastic save. At the end, it’s okay."

Nottingham Forest 0-2 Spurs

Nottingham Forest (3-4-3): Henderson, Worrall (c), S Cook (Awoniyi 75), McKenna, N Williams, Gibbs-White, O'Brien (Freuler 75), Toffolo, Yates (Kouyate 75), Johnson (Surridge 90), Lingard (Dennis 69). Substitutes (not used): Hennessey, Bianconi, Colback, Mighten.

Spurs (3-4-3): Starting XI: Lloris (c), Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Royal, Bentancur (Spence 90+1), Hojbjerg, Perisic (Sessegnon 73), Kulusevski (Bissouma 83), Kane, Son (Richarlison 73). Substitutes (not used): Forster, Doherty, Tanganga, Lenglet, Sarr.

Match data

Goals: Spurs - Kane 5, 81.

Yellow cards: Nottingham Forest - Cook 54, Worrall 58, McKenna 60, O'Brien 73, Kouyate 84, Johnson 85; Spurs - Kane 82.

Referee: Craig Pawson.

Venue: City Ground, Nottingham.

Weather: Sunny, light winds, 22 degrees.

Attendance: 29,296.