Tottenham will have to assess Cristian Romero and Richarlison ahead of Thursday’s Premier League trip to Brighton.

The duo were forced off during Spurs’ hard-fought 2-1 win over Everton with hamstring and back injuries respectively.

A third consecutive win ensured Tottenham will spend Christmas Day in the top four, but Romero and Richarlison have provided boss Ange Postecoglou with more fitness concerns.

On Romero, Postecoglou revealed: “He felt tiredness in his hamstring just before half-time, so we had to take him off.”

The prognosis on Richarlison was better after the forward continued his fine form with a fourth goal in three matches on Saturday.

Spurs will check on the South American duo on Sunday before the players return to training on Boxing Day after being given Christmas Day off.

“Yeah, Richy’s OK. He’s kind of had a sore back in training (on Friday),” Postecoglou added.

“He wasn’t 100 per cent, but he was keen to start. He got through the game, pleasing for him that he took his goal well and worked hard for us, but I kind of knew that at some point I’d have to take him off.

“I don’t think it’s anything serious.”

 

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Tottenham will be hopeful Richarlison is fine, especially with top goalscorer Son Heung-min set to be away on international duty during January.

Son grabbed his 11th goal of the campaign in the Everton win, which betters his league tally from the 2022-23 season when he struggled with a sports hernia, which was only operated on in May.

Richarlison underwent the same procedure last month and has been backed to keep flourishing now he has solved the problem.

Spurs captain Son told PLP: “Richarlison went through similar to what I had last season.

“He is always hungry for goals and for work. He is playing pain-free and looks totally different as a player, so I’m very happy for him.

“If he carries on like this, he can be one of the greatest strikers in the Premier League.”

Postecoglou’s side could count themselves fortunate to claim all three points after Everton provided a tough test.

While Spurs went 2-0 up inside 18 minutes, Sean Dyche’s team created a number of chances with home goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario denying Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jack Harrison, James Garner and Arnaut Danjuma.

Everton also had the ball in the net in the 51st-minute through Calvert-Lewin, but referee Stuart Attwell ruled out the effort after VAR told him to review the incident, with Andre Gomes adjudged to have fouled Emerson Royal in the build-up.

Toffees defender Jarrad Branthwaite told the official club website: “It was never a foul in my eyes.

“They put it on the big screen, and I think everyone sees. Once (the referee) goes over to the monitor, he’s going to give it. It’s never a foul and it just kills the game. It should be a clear goal, for me.

“He hasn’t won the ball, but he hasn’t touched the man, and he just falls over. It’s one of those things and we can’t do anything about it now.”

Everton boss Sean Dyche fumed at the decision to rule out Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 51st-minute goal in their 2-1 Premier League loss at Tottenham.

Spurs were two up inside 18 minutes after close-range finishes by Richarlison and Son Heung-min but were not at their best and could have conceded at the start of the second half.

Calvert-Lewin rifled home after Andre Gomes had won back possession from Emerson Royal, but VAR Michael Oliver told referee Stuart Attwell to review the incident and he disallowed the strike after Gomes was adjudged to have caught the Tottenham full-back on his ankle.

More drama was to follow as Gomes eventually reduced the deficit in the 82nd minute before substitute Arnaut Danjuma hit the crossbar in the dying seconds, with goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario clearing the loose ball from on the goal line.

Dyche said: “It is unfortunate I have to start with that because I thought we were excellent, but I will go back to that. I am a big fan of VAR, but I don’t know where that one lives today.

“I think VAR has over-reffed the moment, where the referee and the linesman have amazing views. They have clearly made a decision. All their experience and years of doing it goes out the window because they’ll find contact.

“They are going to find contact, they find contact with virtually everything.

“I’m a big fan of VAR, but it can’t be refereeing every moment.

“There are so many soft things in football now. Every touch is nearly a foul or is a foul, but that’s not enough for me.

“That’s where you’ve got to go, ‘No, that’s not enough contact’ to make a mature, professional footballer (go down).

“That’s where I think the game has got to be really careful.”

Asked if VAR had helped out his side, Spurs head coach Ange Postecoglou said: “Why would it help us out? It was a foul.

“It didn’t help us out. I don’t like VAR. That’s part of the problem, people use that kind of terminology, that it helps or it goes against.

“It’s a tool, it’s used, I still don’t like it. Did it help us? I don’t know if it helped us. If that goal stood, we might have scored a third. That’s the beauty of football.

“I’ve already said I don’t like the way VAR is being used, I didn’t like the way it was used today. I thought it was a foul, yeah, but the referee missed it and probably missed another foul as well. That’s part of the game.”

While this result ended Everton’s four-match winning streak in the Premier League, Dyche was proud of the performance as Vicario made crucial saves to deny Calvert-Lewin, Jack Harrison, James Garner and Danjuma in an end-to-end encounter.

He added: “I am pushing 11 months now and, out of all the performances we’ve had, that is arguably one of the performances I’m most proud of. I thought the players were absolutely superb.”

Tottenham struggled to build on their excellent start, Richarlison scoring for a third consecutive match with a fine near-post finish from Brennan Johnson’s cross before Son lashed home following a corner after Jordan Pickford had kept out Johnson’s low effort.

Nevertheless, this result made it three wins in a row and ensured Spurs would be in the top four at Christmas, with 11 victories from their opening 18 fixtures.

“We had to show some resilience and some strong defence in the box,” Postecoglou said.

“A couple of outstanding saves from Vic, who was brilliant again. It had a little bit of everything, a different type of performance by us, but the pleasing thing is we got the three points.”

Richarlison scored for the third consecutive match to haunt old club Everton and ensure Tottenham would spend Christmas in the Premier League’s top four thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 home win.

It was harsh on Sean Dyche’s visitors, who created the better of the chances in the capital and crucially had a Dominic Calvert-Lewin effort ruled out following a VAR review in the 51st minute which could have changed the complexion of the match.

Everton also hit the crossbar deep into added time through substitute Arnaut Danjuma, whose effort was then cleared by goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario before it could cross the line. Although the offside flag was raised, the goal would have been given on VAR review as Danjuma was marginally onside.

Those missed chances cost the away side and enabled Ange Postecoglou’s team make it three wins in a row after first-half goals by Richarlison and Son Heung-min, with Andre Gomes’ late effort a mere consolation.

Dyche’s team had won their last four league fixtures and started well in north London, with the fit-again Vitalii Mykolenko testing Vicario early on before Cristian Romero slide in to deny Calvert-Lewin.

It had been a sloppy opening period from Postecoglou’s men, but an Everton old boy corrected that in the ninth minute.

A slick team move saw Pape Sarr play in Brennan Johnson down the right and his cross was perfect for Richarlison, who flicked home impressively at the near post before declining to properly celebrate against his former team.

Everton responded well to going behind, with Dwight McNeil dragging an effort wide and Calvert-Lewin having a header excellently tipped wide by Vicario before Tottenham punished their profligacy again with 18 minutes played.

A short corner routine did the trick, with Pedro Porro slipping the ball through to Johnson, who was denied by Jordan Pickford, but Son was on hand to scramble home from eight yards.

It was Son’s 11th Premier League goal of the campaign, which bettered his tally from last season, and Everton’s problems increased when Idrissa Gueye limped off soon after.

Spurs were in control by this point and almost produced a couple of wonderful team goals but allowed sloppiness to creep in towards the end of the half.

The hosts did not heed their warning, but made it through to half-time with a two-goal advantage after Vicario denied James Garner and Jack Harrison in quick succession.

Everton’s pressure continued, though, and they thought the deficit had been reduced in the 51st minute, only for VAR to intervene.

Substitute Gomes won back possession from Emerson Royal and found Calvert-Lewin, who rifled home, but referee Stuart Attwell was told to review the incident.

Replays on the pitchside monitor showed Gomes had caught Emerson’s left ankle and, while the contact was soft, it was deemed enough to disallow the effort.

Another chance was squandered when Garner dragged wide from Harrison’s delicious outside-of-the-boot pass and Postecoglou had seen enough, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg introduced for Richarlison with 27 minutes left.

It worked initially and Dejan Kulusevski almost put the game to bed in the 75th minute, but Pickford produced a superb finger-tip save.

With eight minutes left the Toffees broke through when Garner’s corner was cleared to Gomes and he lashed home for his first Everton goal in 18 months.

It could have been 2-2 minutes later when ex-Spurs loanee Arnaut Danjuma let fly, but his deflected left-foot strike was brilliantly pushed over by Vicario.

Six minutes were added on and Everton were camped in the hosts’ half, but in the dying moments Danjuma could only volley against the crossbar and watch as the ball agonisingly failed to completely cross the line before Vicario cleared.

The European Super League needs English clubs more than they need the breakaway competition, says football finance expert Dan Plumley.

The European Super League was initially announced back in April 2021, with 12 of the continent's biggest clubs announcing their intention to join. Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all agreed to participate.

However, a fan backlash eventually forced nine of the clubs to back down, including all six English teams, and the Super League looked to be a thing of the past.

A ruling this week may have given it a second life, though, with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg deciding FIFA and UEFA "abused a dominant position" in blocking the Super League.

A new proposal was swiftly announced, but all six English clubs invited to join rejected the request.

Plumley believes the Super League would need the support of English clubs to get off the ground, though he did warn their involvement could still be a possibility despite the heavy opposition seen after the initial launch in 2021.

When asked if the Super League required the English clubs' involvement, Plumley told Stats Perform: "Yes, I think that's absolutely the way to position it at the moment.

"And I'm not saying that it would never happen. The Premier League clubs don't really need to go following the Super League, but the Super League would be better with English clubs.

"I don't think the Super League idea is ever going to be fully dead in the water. I think we'll see it in some way, shape or form, and maybe it will happen.

"When you're talking about lots of money on the table, a lot of clubs will often look for the best deal on the table and if that is a European Super League in the future, that's when heads might start to be turned.

"But the English situation is a bit of a problem for them, because you're talking about wanting the biggest clubs in the world to be part of it. And there are some very big English clubs that have already ruled themselves out."

Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are two of the clubs spearheading the Super League project, with the latter's president Florentino Perez hailing the ECJ's ruling as a "great day for the history of football".

Plumley feels the poor financial situations of Barcelona and Madrid are a key reason behind their Super League support, as well as the recent power shift towards the Premier League in terms of revenue and talent.

"I think, certainly for them, the driving force over the last couple of years has been financial," Plumley stated. "We know the financial situation at Barcelona has not been great. We know Real Madrid have had problems as well.

"I think the other thing with those two clubs that we've seen is a real stubbornness to dig their heels in. They wanted to be proved right and in a way that verdict does prove them right. Part of their argument was that UEFA and FIFA were acting unlawfully by blocking it.

"I think what's hurt Barcelona and Real Madrid along the way is all the other clubs that have moved away from the project.

"I think it's symptomatic also of Barca and Real's position in Spain. Yes, they are dominant, but where are they seeing the growth?

"I don't think they're seeing as much growth as potentially the Premier League's got to offer and those are little things where it becomes about, 'well, now I'm going to look at my own self-interest'. You can see how they've tried to leverage that through the Super League.

"At the end of the day it comes down to finance, and certainly in the early stages of it, it was all about money for those two clubs. Don't get me wrong, it probably still is, but I think a lot of it then was they felt like they needed to see the case through because they dug their heels in."

Tottenham took the gamble of confirming managerial novice Tim Sherwood as their new head coach on this day in 2013.

Sherwood had no experience at leading a club prior to assuming Spurs first-team duties one week earlier in the wake of Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking.

Yet after one defeat and one win, the Tottenham board had no trouble in supporting Sherwood to lead them further up the Premier League table, with the then 44-year-old appointed on a contract running to the end of the 2014-15 season.

The north London club had been expected to challenge for a top-four finish after a heavy outlay over the summer, yet they sat seventh in the table and were four points adrift of the Champions League places.

Villas-Boas was dismissed a day after a demoralising 5-0 home defeat against Liverpool, while Tottenham had also shipped six goals at Manchester City.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy admitted he was loath to dispense with the services of Villas-Boas, but gave his backing to Sherwood, who played for the club as a midfielder from 1999 until 2003.

Levy told the club’s official website: “We were extremely reluctant to make a change mid-season, but felt we had to do so in the club’s best interests.

“We have a great squad and we owe them a head coach who will bring out the best in them and allow them to flourish and enjoy a strong, exciting finish to the season.

“We are in the fortunate position of having within our club a talented coach in Tim Sherwood. We believe Tim has both the knowledge and the drive to take the squad forward.”

Sherwood oversaw Tottenham finishing sixth in the table in the 2013-14 campaign before parting ways with the club two days later, with Levy saying in a statement: “We agreed an 18-month contract with a break clause at the end of the season and we have now exercised that option.”

Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou will keep channelling his focus on problem-solving rather than allowing himself to get frustrated at the club’s growing list of absentees.

Spurs won 2-0 at Nottingham Forest last week, but finished the match with 10 men after Yves Bissouma was shown his second red card of the season.

Bissouma will be suspended for four matches and Destiny Udogie is banned for Saturday’s visit of Everton after he received his fifth caution of the campaign at the City Ground.

https://x.com/SpursOfficial/status/1738183568956748243

It adds to Postecoglou’s problems with Micky van de Ven, James Maddison and Rodrigo Bentancur already ruled out until January while attackers Ivan Perisic and Manor Solomon have been long-term absentees since September.

Postecoglou said: “I think it is important from my perspective that you don’t deal in the extreme because it is an emotional game. There are enough people who get emotional about these things so it doesn’t need me to add to that.

“My job in all of this is to ultimately find solutions rather than focus too much on the fall-out of any issues we’ve had because I guarantee you once we get all the players back, there will be something else.

“Like I said, it is important for the players and staff that they know through that process my role is to charter a way forward rather than focus on the fall-out from any challenges we may have.”

Bissouma faced criticism for his challenge on Forest midfielder Ryan Yates but Postecoglou has not felt the need to address discipline with him.

“People can say what they want but he has just mistimed a tackle. It is not like he has gone in dirty on anyone,” the Spurs boss added.

“I have always felt the best remedy is that if a guy feels he is missing out, then that kind of helps in that process of not letting it affect their game but also understanding the impact it can have.

“Always I kind of understand that they are all human beings and they will make mistakes, like all of us they are given the opportunity to learn from those mistakes.”

Postecoglou must now decide how best to replace Bissouma and while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has deputised for him at times this season, Oliver Skipp will get minutes in the defensive midfield role over the next week with games to come against Brighton and Bournemouth.

“Obviously we’ve had Pierre there and Biss, even Bentancur when he came back, so there is a fair bit of flexibility on who we use there,” Postecoglou explained.

“But Skippy can play at six and probably will play there.

“We have three games over the next week so he probably will get an opportunity at some point in that position.”

Tottenham have only lost one of their last 20 league meetings with Everton, but Sean Dyche’s team have been galvanised by a 10-point deduction for a breach of financial regulations in November.

The 16th-placed Toffees are one of the Premier League’s in-form clubs with seven wins from their last 10 fixtures.

Postecoglou concluded: “Sean’s done an outstanding job but when you get hit with something like that, it’s often a measure of the playing group and the manager how they respond to adversity and you’ve got to say the response has been first class.”

What the papers say

The Metro reports Tottenham have maintained their interest in Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher, with a view to a January approach. Citing Sky Sports, the paper says Tottenham’s interest has carried over from the summer, but Chelsea would be seeking big money for the 23-year-old following an impressive start to the season. Gallagher only has 18 months left on his contract, so the Blues would expect to sell him at some point in the next year unless he pens a new deal.

Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio is on the radar at Arsenal, according to The Sun. However, the paper says the Gunners are unlikely to make a move in the January window unless they are forced to act due to a serious injury cropping up.

The paper also says another of Tottenham’s interests, Tosin Adarabioyo, has informed Fulham of his intention to depart the club at the end of the season. The Cottagers have offered the 26-year-old defender a new deal, but he is expected to turn the offer down and become a free agent.

And The Sun reports West Ham and Everton are both circling for 20-year-old Peterborough defender Ronnie Edwards.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Kalvin Phillips: ESPN reports Juventus have entered talks with Manchester City over a loan deal for the England midfielder.

Borja Mayoral: Brentford, Crystal Palace and Fulham are all monitoring the Getafe striker, according to Spanish outlet Fichajes.

What the papers say

Suitors of Brentford’s in-demand striker Ivan Toney have reportedly been warned they will need to pay at least £100,000,000 for his services. The Sun, citing Talksport, says the Bees would want a nine-figure fee for the 27-year-old. Arsenal and Chelsea are both believed to be considering a move for Toney, who returns from a betting ban next month.

The Manchester Evening News reports Preston are interested in a loan move for Manchester United midfielder Dan Gore. Despite the 19-year-old only making one appearance for the first team, North End bosses are interested in bringing him in to help the club chase a play-off place.

Tottenham are monitoring Genoa centre-back Radu Dragusin, according to The Telegraph. The 21-year-old is expected to cost £26m, should he move in the January transfer window.

And the paper also says Newcastle have opened talks with 17-year-old midfielder Lewis Miley over signing a long-term deal once he turns 18.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Sergio Reguilon: Bild reports the Tottenham defender – on loan at Manchester United – is wanted by Borussia Dortmund.

Mauro Icardi: Real Madrid are set to make a move for the Galatasaray striker, according to Marca.

Brighton and Liverpool both saw their long scoring streaks ended on Sunday, leaving Tottenham to chase the Premier League’s records.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how the trio compare to the best of the Premier League era.

Brighton’s wings finally clipped

The Seagulls’ 2-0 defeat to Arsenal ended a 32-game scoring run and a Premier League record 20 consecutively in which they had both scored and conceded.

The latter sequence covered every fixture this season and the final four of last term, since their clean sheet in May’s 3-0 win over the Gunners.

The last time they had failed to score was way back in February, a 1-0 defeat at home to Fulham, with that 32-game stretch marking the fourth-longest in the Premier League.

Arsenal themselves hold the record, 55 games from May 2001 to November 2002 which covered the last game of 2000-01, the entirety of their 2001-02 title-winning season and the first 16 games of the following campaign’s second-placed finish, before losing 2-0 to Manchester United who went on to win the league.

United had a scoring run of 36 games from December 2007 to November 2008, matched by Liverpool between March 2019 and February 2020 for a distant second place behind Arsenal, with Brighton next up under impressive manager Roberto De Zerbi.

Brighton scored 66 goals in those 32 games, winning 15 and drawing eight with nine losses.

Spurs left standing

Liverpool were held to a goalless draw by Manchester United in Sunday’s late game to halt their own scoring run at 26 games.

Since another 0-0 in April against Chelsea, Jurgen Klopp’s side had scored 63 goals across 18 wins, seven draws and one defeat before their 34 shots proved insufficient to break down a stubborn United side at Anfield.

That leaves Spurs as the only side whose current scoring streak stretches to double figures, and at 29 games after beating Nottingham Forest 2-0 it ranks joint-fifth in Premier League history.

Manchester City also had a run of 29 between December 2018 and September 2019, before a shock 2-0 home defeat to Wolves, with Spurs losing 1-0 to the same opponents before embarking on their current run.

Beginning in March in Antonio Conte’s penultimate match in charge and continuing through the chaotic end to last season, under the caretaker stewardship of first Cristian Stellini and then Ryan Mason, Spurs have kicked on under new boss Ange Postecoglou this term.

They have scored 59 goals in the 29 games, with a record of 14 wins, six draws and nine defeats.

Scoring against Everton, Brighton and Bournemouth in their remaining fixtures of 2023 would take them alongside Albion’s 32 in the Premier League list, with the chance to chase down second-placed Liverpool and Man Utd  by February’s return fixture with the Seagulls.

After Spurs, the longest current streak belongs to Bournemouth, who had scored in eight straight games prior to Saturday’s fixture against Luton. They also found the net before that match was abandoned.

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou has called on his side to show their resilience and step up to cover for absentees in the coming weeks.

Midfielder Yves Bissouma is facing a four-match suspension following his second dismissal of the season in Spurs’ 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest on Friday night.

Dejan Kulusevski picked out Richarlison to head home the opener in first-half stoppage-time before turning goalscorer to move Tottenham closer to the Champions League places.

Bissouma’s was the fourth sending off of the season for Tottenham and discipline remains a concern for Australian Postecoglou, who is also without Destiny Udogie for the clash with Everton.

Postecoglou told Sky Sports Premier League: “We lose him (Bissouma), we lose Destiny Udogie (also suspended) but I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be that type of season for us. It’s building resilience in the group.

“We’ve got plenty of reason to make excuses, we haven’t, we’ve gone through a rough trot, we’ve still got some tough games coming up.

“I think when you get through these periods and you’re steadfast in what you’re trying to do, I think you come out stronger provided you maintain belief.

“It’s (discipline) been a little bit of an issue. It’s a fine line with those things.

“The players are aware of that, they don’t want to miss games. I think today was more of a desperation tackle than something nasty.

I’m working with fantastic footballers. That makes a big difference. I’ve been pleased with the progress and I just think there’s so much more to come.”

Steve Cooper urged Forest to keep their heads held high.

They came close in the latter stages to getting something out of the game as Harry Toffolo saw an effort superbly clawed off the line before Neco Williams struck the post.

Cooper said: “You’ve got to keep believing in the players. If the players are not believing in themselves and not as confident as they can be, they’re not going to commit to the decision making and the risks that we need them to take.

“There’s always pressure and you have to deal with that if you want to excel – and survive in our case – at this level. That will continue. We’ll stand up and be counted.”

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou was delighted with his side’s composure as they made it back-to-back wins for the first time since October with a 2-0 Premier League victory at Nottingham Forest.

Dejan Kulusevski picked out Richarlison to head home the opener in first-half stoppage-time before turning goalscorer when he capitalised on a poor clearance from Matt Turner to double the advantage at the City Ground.

Tottenham then had to see out the final 20 minutes with 10 men after Yves Bissouma’s dismissal for a high lunge on Ryan Yates but they held on despite Neco Williams hitting the post late on.

Postecoglou told Sky Sports Premier League: “It’s a tough game here, you have to earn whatever you get. They’re obviously pretty desperate for points and the crowd get behind them.

“Every time they get a throw-in, you feel like you’ve conceded a goal and they’re launching it in the box. We had to deal with a lot of things we don’t normally have to deal with. Just great character.

“We had some adversity obviously to go down to 10 men. Some of our football was good as well, so a bit of everything.

“For the most part we stayed pretty calm and composed, the back four, Ben Davies and Romero were excellent, Vic was good when we needed him.

“We always had an outlet, we always looked dangerous, which meant we just didn’t camp ourselves in there. So really pleased.”

However, Postecoglou remained concerned about Tottenham’s lack of discipline as Bissouma was sent off for the second time this season and his 70th-minute dismissal was Tottenham’s fourth red card of the season.

Postecoglou added: “I haven’t seen it but I’m assuming they slowed it down and saw it. It’s been a little bit of an issue. It’s a fine line with those things.

“The players are aware of that, they don’t want to miss games. I think today was more of a desperation tackle than something nasty.

“We’ve had to deal with that a few times this year and you can’t go on doing it like that because eventually we’ll pay a price for it, and we did against Chelsea.

“It’s something we talk about constantly but it’s a fine line between their commitment to what we’re trying to do and not overstepping the mark.”

Forest boss Steve Cooper bemoaned the error that led to Tottenham’s second goal that left his side with a mountain to climb.

Under pressure from Heung-min Son, Turner’s attempted clearance went straight to Kulusevski, who rifled into the net to make it 2-0.

Cooper said: “The result is obviously the most important and will always write the narrative and we accept that.

“I think we sort of played the game we thought was the right one to play in terms of playing on a fairly closed pitch and not trying to give Spurs too much space to play in because we could see how dangerous they can be.

“Obviously the goal, we’ve come off the plan, we haven’t doubled up, we’ve let him come inside.

“It’s the one time they’ve put a real free cross in and we’ve not marked in the box. And that’s the level and that’s the bit that we’re not doing very well in terms of when we’re given moments in and around the opponent’s box, we’re not making it count.

“Then obviously we’ve come out and we started the second half well and then the second goal is not something you can do at any level, never mind in the Premier League.

“So that killed the momentum but I’ve got no complaints with the general performance.”

Tottenham moved level with Manchester City for the Champions League places after goals from Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski earned them a 2-0 over Nottingham Forest despite the second-half dismissal of Yves Bissouma.

After a relatively even opening 45 minutes, the visitors went ahead when Kulusevski picked out Richarlison to head home before turning goalscorer to double the advantage.

Bissouma 70th-minute dismissal for a high lunge on Ryan Yates made for a nervy final 20 minutes, but Guglielmo Vicario was relatively unscathed as Tottenham made it back-to-back wins for the first time since October.

Son Heung-min broke through early down the inside left channel, but saw his close-range effort well blocked by Matt Turner in the Forest goal.

Tottenham dominated the early stages, however, their patient build-up play failed to open up the Forest backline and was the home side who created a great chance to open the scoring with 18 minutes on the clock.

A quick break out of defence saw Morgan Gibbs-White feed an inch-perfect ball down the right to Anthony Elanga, but Vicario was quickly off his line to save.

The Forest counter-attack was a danger to Tottenham and another inviting ball forward just failed to pick out Yates as the visitors were given another warning.

Brennan Johnson came close to breaking the deadlock against his former club when his flicked effort midway through the half was clawed away by Turner, with Ben Davies heading the resulting corner harmlessly over.

Pedro Porro headed wide from Son’s cross, but it was Spurs who broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage time.

A quick break down the right saw Kulusevski cut back inside on his left foot and his delightful cross was headed home from close range by Richarlison.

After a somewhat cagey opening to the second half, Forest thought they had drawn level in the 57th minute when Elanga turned home Neco Williams’ cross, but VAR intervention ruled the goal offside.

Son forced another save from Turner before Tottenham doubled their lead when a poor clearance from the Forest goalkeeper under pressure from Son went straight to Kulusevski and he made him pay when lashing into the net with his right foot.

Forest’s hopes of a comeback were then given a boost with 20 minutes remaining after Yves Bissouma was shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Yates following another VAR decision.

Tottenham reacted by withdrawing Richarlison for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to strengthen the midfield.

Williams saw an effort deflected wide before Harry Toffolo saw his header from the resulting corner somehow kept out by Vicario and Williams struck the post deep into stoppage time, but they could find no way through.

Tottenham manager Robert Vilahamn has pledged to maintain his attacking approach in the wake of consecutive heavy defeats in the Women’s Super League.

Vilahamn’s side were thrashed 7-0 by Manchester City and 4-0 by Manchester United and now face high-flying Arsenal in the north London derby, just three days after losing on penalties to the same opponents in the Continental Tyres League Cup.

Tottenham have failed to win any of their last 11 games against the Gunners, who are behind WSL leaders Chelsea on goal difference only after beating the Blues 4-1 last week.

“It’s always tricky when you want to be a team that dictates the game and want to show that we have the ball, when you play against one of the top teams in the world,” Vilahamn said ahead of a game which will be staged at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“But when we come to our stadium we want to make sure we try to do it. I’m not going to go there and just try to have a low block and hope that we can counter-attack.

“The main thing is for me to show the fans who come that this team is all about playing the way we want to do it.”

Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall likened facing the same opposition in quick succession to a “longer half-time break where you can actually work on things on the training ground” and is focused on ending the year on a high.

“The next game is our most important game and that means 100 per cent of our preparation and focus goes into this game,” he said.

“We are really determined and motivated and trying to end this year on as high a level as possible and hopefully after that can go to a well-deserved Christmas break.”

Ange Postecoglou has written a list and checked it twice, but is still patiently waiting to discover if Father Christmas has deemed his work naughty or nice this year.

While all Tottenham and Celtic supporters’ would put the Australian in the latter category for 2023, the fanbases of Arsenal or Rangers may have differing opinions.

Yet regardless of what side of the list Postecoglou ends up on, he knows his wish for Christmas will be difficult to achieve.

With eight players already out injured and Pape Sarr, Yves Bissouma and captain Son Heung-min set to be absent for at least some of January due to international commitments, the Spurs boss would dearly love to get new signings through the door at the beginning of next month.

“I wrote my letter to Santa. Like my kids, now I’ve just got to see whether I’ve been naughty or nice and see what I get mate,” Postecoglou joked when asked about progress on additions ahead of Friday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.

In a more serious tone, he continued: “Obviously with where we’re at injury-wise, the players we’re going to miss, we’ve got some significant games in January and signing somebody late in January could mean they haven’t been able to make an impact in those other games.

 

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“We’re pushing hard but you need all parties to agree to that.

“Other clubs, particularly if it’s players they want, will be wanting to hold on them for as long as possible for their own reasons through January.

“It is a challenge, I get that, but everyone at the club is working hard to get the best outcomes for us and we’ll see how it goes.”

Spurs boss Postecoglou has made clear his desire to sign a new centre-back in January and a versatile attacking player is also top of the club’s wishlist.

Ange Postecoglou has warned Tottenham defender Cristian Romero that his tackles will be under the spotlight for the rest of the season.

Romero only returned from a three-match ban for his red card against Chelsea earlier this month but faced criticism on Sunday for a poor challenge on Callum Wilson towards the end of Spurs’ 4-1 win over Newcastle.

VAR did review the incident, which stayed as a caution, but if Romero had been sent off, he would have faced a four-match suspension and that would have further depleted a Tottenham team already without eight first-team players for Friday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.

Postecoglou said: “It’s fair to say the spotlight will be on him for the rest of the year.

“Any challenge he does, whether it’s something that’s pretty clear like the Chelsea game or last week, which I thought was as much clumsy as anything else.

“He knows that, he understands that. He’s just got to make the adjustments that he needs to do during the game, but I don’t think it’s a subject for long chats.

“It’s pretty evident the impact he has on us when he’s playing and when he’s not and we much prefer to have him out there.”

Spurs failed to win any of the matches which Romero missed through suspension and his ban coincided with fellow defender Micky van de Ven being sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Van de Ven will not play again until January and, while Postecoglou is pleased with the partnership struck up between Romero and Ben Davies, a left-back by trade, he is keen to bring in another centre-back in January.

“As a team I thought we were a lot more organised with our press (against Newcastle),” Postecoglou added.

“Romero makes a big difference to that but I thought Ben Davies was outstanding as well last week. He’s getting a run of games now but we’ve always got to be mindful he is not a centre-back.

“We’ve been very fortunate that Ben’s been able to fill in for us there. He’s really good at taking in information, he really understands the game, not just his own role but how we want to play and that’s helped him.

“Having Romeo next to him helps in that sense and Vic (Guglielmo Vicario) because he’s taken a bit of a leadership role back there as well.

“Ultimately, we still need to sign another centre-back because at the moment we are a little bit on tenterhooks because if something happens again we are short and we are already short.”

Postecoglou revealed Giovani Lo Celso would miss the clash at Forest with a niggle picked up in training this week.

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