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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Tottenham take charge of fourth spot after cutting Forest down to size

Tottenham (1) 3 Murillo og 16, Van de Ven 52, Porro 58

Nottm Forest (1) 1 Wood 27

They may get to the promised land of the Champions League by finishing fifth rather than fourth - given the possibility of an extra berth for English clubs next season - but Spurs look on course for taking that coveted place below the trio of title contenders.

Aston Villa's dropped points against Brentford this weekend and the likelihood of more lost at Arsenal next Sunday, have put Ange Postecoglou's men firmly in the driving seat.

Today's win puts them back above their Midlands rivals on goal difference, and still with a game in hand. They control their own destiny, which at this stage of the season, counts for much.

It was a very decent way for skipper Heung-Min Son to celebrate his 400th Spurs appearance, even if he was denied the icing on the cake when his late effort was pushed onto a post by keeper Matz Sels.

An own goal put Tottenham in front and after Chris Wood had bagged a good equaliser for Forest, Spurs assumed control, attacking the massed ranks of the South Stand in the second half.

First, the increasingly popular Micky van de Ven smashed in from the edge of the area, then Pedro Porro finished off after a James Maddison cross had been flicked on by half-time sub Rodrigo Bentancur.

It may have been a comfortable Sunday afternoon for Spurs in the end but they nearly fell behind to a speculative effort from 60 yards (yes, sixty) from Murillo or Santiago Costa dos Santos to give you his full moniker - who spotted Guglielmo well off his line. His effort flew just wide.

Alas for the Brazilian, his second goalbound effort was towards his own net and it gifted Spurs the lead. Timo Werner fired in from the left and a lunge at the ball was only going to finish one way for the hapless Forest defender.

Forest, buoyed by their midweek win against Fulham and badly in need of points to stay above Luton in the relegation battle, drew level in fine style as Anthony Elanga burst forward onto a pass from Neco Williams before rolling the ball across for Wood to convert.

And Wood really should have put the visitors ahead but he contrived to smash a shot against a post from a couple of yards with the goal gaping after Vicario had parried a Ryan Yates shot into a space that begged to be exploited.

Spurs hit the woodwork too before the interval, when a cross from Son bounced off Ola Aina and onto the top of the crossbar. But their best was yet to come.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg came on for Yves Bissouma at the interval and was soon in action, hitting a fine shout from outside the box that needed to be helped over the bar by Sels.

The keeper did well then but had no chance not long after when Spurs worked the ball from right to left through Brennan Johnson and Son to set up van de Ven for his thumping drive into the top corner.

Forest boss Nuno Santo has precious few happy memories of his time in the home dug out at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This visit was very much in keeping with that.

Spurs: (4-2-3-1) Vacario - Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Udogie - Bissouma (Hojbjerg h/t), Sarr (Bentancur h/t)- Johnson (Scarlett 89), Maddison (Kulusevski 76), Werner (Lo Celso 76) - Son

Forest: (4-2-3-1) Sels - Williams (Montiel 87), Omobamidele, Murillo, Aina - Yates (Sangare 81), Danilo (Reyna 81) - Elanga (Origi 68), Gibbs-White (Dominguez 68), Hudson-Odoi - Wood


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