Ryan Mason Scores As Tottenham Recover To Beat Forest


Tottenham recovered from going behind to score three late goals against Nottingham Forest in the Capital One Cup. Substitute Ryan Mason sparked the revival with an equaliser seven minutes after coming on. Roberto Soldado and Harry Kane ensured Spurs progressed to the next round where they drew a home game against Brighton.

Tottenham Hotspur 3 Nottingham Forest 1

Scorers: Mason, Soldado, Kane   Grant

Team: Vorm, Naughton, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies; Bentaleb, Stambouli (mason); Lennon, Paulinho (Kane), Townsend; Soldado (Lamela) Subs: Friedel, Chiriches, Dier, Eriksen

After a pedestrian performance from Tottenham for over an hour, Nottingham Forest went ahead through Grant. Mauricio Pochettino introduced Ryan Mason who brought a greater urgency to the Spurs play and equalised after 71 minutes with a great shot from 25 yards – his first goal for Tottenham. Andros Townsend powered in a shot from 30 yards, nine minutes later and Soldado deflected the ball into the net. In added time, Erik Lamela set up Harry Kane to score the third.

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Mauricio Pochettino made 11 changes from the team which played so poorly against West Bromwich on Sunday for the Capital One Cup tie against Nottingham Forest. Aaron Lennon captained the side which had Michel Vorm making his debut in goal with both Federico Fazio and Benji Stambouli making their home debuts. It is the same team as played in Belgrade last week but with Vorm and Roberto Soldado starting instead of Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane.

Stuart Pearce opted to rest players with a view to their promotion prospects, making 9 changes to the Forest team with leading goalscorer, Britt Assombalonga, not in the squad. Goalkeeper, Karl Darlow, a reported target for Spurs in the summer was on the bench but central defender Jamaal Lascelles, another target before signing for Newcastle, was included in the team.

It may have been a different team but Tottenham started off where they left off on Sunday. Their play was slow and while they dominated possession in the first 15 minutes, they failed to trouble a hard-working Forest defence. In that period the visitors sat deep allowing Spurs to pass the ball around in the middle of the pitch. There were only occasional glimpses of the pressing game Pochettino had talked about with Nabil Bentaleb one of the few players working to pressure Forest.

After 11 minutes Jan Vertonghen met a cross that had been cleared out of the Forest area and shot from distance. His deflected effort was pushed out by the Forest goalkeeper. Four minutes later, Bentaleb won possession in midfield but on reaching the area, his cross was poor.

Having endured this early Spurs possession, Forest grew in confidence and showed that they could trouble the home defence. Ben Osborn won possession in his own half and went on a run to the edge of the Spurs box and fans held their breath as the ball struck the bar with Vorm beaten. Vorm saved the follow up and then a cross from the right went across Spurs area.

Spurs were looking very uncertain while Forest were confident and enjoying the evening. On 26 minutes, Fazio cleared as Veldwijk broke forward into the area. Townsend, on the right started to have more impact but his final cross or shot failed to trouble the goalkeeper. He shot wide after 27 minutes, used his pace on the right in the 32nd minute to get behind the defence but his cross was cleared and then he shot over two minutes later.

On 37 minutes a cross by Lennon was cleared ahead of Paulinho but fell to Naughton who shot from distance. Spurs finished the first half with more urgency but didn’t trouble the Forest defence. Townsend broke on the right and cut in on goal but with 4 players in the box, he shot wide.

After the interval, Forest continued to have the better of the early play and continued to grow in confidence. They put Spurs under increasing pressure which saw the home crowd grow more impatient.

Spurs best moment came after 55 minutes when a cross from Bentaleb was flicked past the far post by Paulinho but with increased Forest pressure they went ahead with an hour played. The ball was deflected wide on the Tottenham right and when Veldwijk crossed, Grant was unmarked in the centre to put Forest into a deserved lead.

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A run forward by Vertonghen from defence enabled Townsend and Naughton to link with the full-back’s cross being headed wide by Paulinho.

Pochettino replaced Paulinho and Stambauli with Harry Kane and Ryan Mason after 64 minutes and immediately the Spurs play became more purposeful. Mason linked with Soldado but the cross went across the area. He then fed the Spanish striker who won a corner. Vertonghen moved forward again but his shot was blocked and when the ball fell to Davies, his cross was headed into the goalkeeper’s hands by Kane.

In the 71st minute Mason received the ball from Davies. From 25 yards he curled a shot into the goal at the near post.

A revitalised Spurs continued to push Forest back and a free-kick by Townsend struck the bar after 75 minutes with the goalkeeper beaten. The winger was finding more space now and starting to trouble Forest with his runs and shooting. Mason shot past the post after Lennon and Kane linked well to set him up as Forest dropped deeper into their half.

On 82 minutes Townsend shot powerfully from 30 yards, Soldado got an instinctive touch inside the area to deflect the ball into the net.

Forest tried to fight back but found a more confident Spurs team. Erik Lamela replaced Soldado. Naughton had a low shot gathered by the goalkeeper but on 91 minutes, Lamela played Kane into the area to shot across goal for a third. In the final minute Lamela had a shot graze the outside of the post.

Forest tested Tottenham and deserved to have their advantage against a Spurs team lacking confidence, urgency and any creative guile. The arrival of Ryan Mason and the other substitutes turned the game for Spurs who were relieved to have a win as they look ahead to the north London derby.