LONDON: Nottingham Forest were taught a hard lesson after losing 2-0 at home to Tottenham in the Premier League.
Forest enjoyed plenty of possession but their lack of a cutting edge around goal cost them a second defeat. By contrast Harry Kane scored twice and even missed a penalty.
Tottenham took the lead after only five minutes on the counter-attack. Kane’s goal was his 200th in all league football: 186 for Spurs, seven for Millwall, five for Leyton Orient and two for Leicester. He had scored against Forest the last time the teams met, in a League Cup-tie eight years ago.
Kusulevski’s 10 assists since he arrived in January are more than any other Premier player.
Manager Steve Cooper has signed 13 new players since Forest won promotion through the playoffs. His newly-rebuilt team worked hard to recover but their obvious weakness was the lack of an orthodox centre-forward to finish neat approach work.
Jesse Lingard was just too late to reach dangerous crosses, Wales World Cup forward Brennan Johnson forced two sharp saves from Hugo Lloris and Morgan Gibbs-White shot over the bar.
Forest were lucky early in the second half when keeper Dean Henderson dived right to make a magnificent penalty save from Kane after handball by Steve Cook. The England reserve keeper, on loan from Manchester United, has been beaten by only one of five penalties he has faced in the Premier League.
Kane had converted all his previous 15 Premier penalties and this was his first miss since being foiled by Liverpool’s Loris Karius in February 2018. Not that it mattered much. Just 15 minutes later he headed a decisive second goal from a left-wing cross by newly-arrived substitute Richarlison.
Life could soon become more difficult for Forest. On Wednesday they go to Manchester City, facing Haaland after Kane.