Harry Kane scored a brace as Tottenham returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday.
The England captain struck twice in the first half to put the hosts in control at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, ultimately ending a three-match winless streak in all competitions.
Kane’s well-taken header and routine penalty were added to in the second half, Son Heung-min ensuring there was no comeback from Forest despite Joe Worrall’s consolation and a late saved spot-kick.
The result, coupled with Liverpool’s surprise defeat to Bournemouth earlier on Saturday, moves Spurs six points clear in the hunt for Champions League qualification.
8 – Harry Kane has scored eight headed goals in the Premier League this season – only Duncan Ferguson has ever scored more in a single campaign (9 in 1997-98). Noggin. pic.twitter.com/M6f6IWopK4
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 11, 2023
Spurs thought they had the lead inside five minutes as Richarlison latched onto Oliver Skipp’s lofted throughball to lash a fierce effort beyond Keylor Navas, but it was disallowed for offside against the Brazilian.
That did not deter the hosts, though, Kane rising to head Pedro Porro’s cross into the right corner of the net after 19 minutes.
Kane doubled his tally before the break with his first penalty since missing against France in the World Cup quarter-finals, converting after Forest captain Worrall fouled Richarlison.
Spurs’ assault on the Forest goal continued in the second half, Son receiving a cross from Richarlison and drilling into the bottom-left corner.
Worrall was able to pull one back, heading past Fraser Forster after Felipe nodded on a corner.
But that was as good as it got for Forest, with Andre Ayew seeing his late penalty saved by Forster down to his right after a Dejan Kulusevski handball.
What does it mean? Spurs return to winning ways
Pressure was mounting on Spurs after their season appeared to unravel with elimination from the FA Cup and Champions League either side of defeat to Premier League strugglers Wolves.
They were handed a lifeline ahead of Saturday’s game as Liverpool missed the chance to leapfrog Spurs in the table when losing to Bournemouth, and Antonio Conte’s team duly took advantage with a much-needed victory.
Although Jurgen Klopp’s side have a game in hand on Spurs, this victory will lift confidence heading into a favourable run of fixtures.
Kane fells Forest
Having scored a brace at the City Ground in the reverse fixture earlier this season, Kane repeated the feat to take his overall tally against Forest to five goals in four appearances in all competitions.
The double also moved Kane to 20 Premier League goals this term, hitting that figure for a sixth season – something only Sergio Aguero (six) and Alan Shearer (seven) have done previously.
Forest’s capital woes
Forest have now lost nine of their past 11 Premier League games in London (W1 D1), with their sole victory coming against Wimbledon in March 1999.
This season, Forest have lost all four of their trips to the capital by an aggregate score of 14-1.
Spurs will turn their attention to next Saturday’s trip to Southampton, while Forest host Newcastle United on Friday.
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