Tottenham 3 Nottm Forest 1: Three talking points

Tottenham 3 Nottm Forest 1: Three talking points as Spurs move into League Cup fourth round

By Sam Rogers
Nottm Forest

Super sub Mason proves unlikely hero for Spurs

With the home side a goal behind and struggling for ideas, Ryan Mason was brought on for Benjamin Stambouli in an attempt to find an answer to Jorge Grant’s second-half opener. Find one he did, with a sublime effort from the best part of 25 yards to grab his first goal for the club and to bring them level on the night. He looked lively in the 20-odd minutes he was on, and inspired his side to come from behind to progress to the fourth round on the night. Roberto Soldado, who had looked severely short of confidence, showed some class to put Spurs in the lead, deflecting Andros Townsend’s scuffed shot past Dorus De Vries in the Forest net, before Harry Kane sealed the result with low-driven effort into the bottom left hand corner.

It’s all in the mind

On paper, Tottenham had a nice home draw against an opponent from outside the Premier League, which should see the top-flight side make simple progress into the next round. As the old saying goes, the game isn’t played on paper and so it showed tonight. First, there was Premier League Tottenham, who fresh from a disappointing defeat by West Brom at the weekend and their worst start to a league season for some time, lacking the self-confidence to impose themselves on a match they really should be winning. By contrast, you had high-flying Nottingham Forest, who are riding high at the top of the Championship and unbeaten under the watchful eye of club hero Stuart Pearce. For an hour, Forest played without fear of their superior opponents and pressed for a headline grabbing victory. Tottenham, on the other hand, didn’t really get going until they went behind in the match and the fear of an upset far outweighed the urge to push to dominate.

Tottenham still left with plenty to ponder ahead of north London derby

Yes, Spurs won, and yes, the scoreline made it look comfortable but truth is it really wasn’t. For an hour, they were unable to break down a weakened Forest side who are clearly more focused on promotion ahead of cup success. It took a wonder goal from Ryan Mason to get Tottenham back into the game and it was a tired looking Forest side that ended the match. While a defeat would have been catastrophic for the home side, they will still have their worries ahead of a crunch fixture against Arsenal on Saturday. Of course, Spurs will make a host of changes but this was supposed to have been on paper a nice easy warm up to the big game at the weekend. As it was, they got the result but didn’t quite match it with their performance.

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