Tottenham keep pace with the pack in big 0-2 win at Nottingham Forest

(Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images) /

It was far from their best performance this season. However, Tottenham Hotspur came through behind two Harry Kane goals to keep pace in the Premier League.

Following the Saturday results, Tottenham Hotspur had to come up with a big win on the road to maintain pace in the Premier League. Although Spurs were far from their best and kept the Tricky Trees alive with poor finishing, Kane had just enough chances to pull Tottenham through. In a season where every point will count, Spurs stay in the top four with the win.

Spurs are one of five unbeaten Premier League teams

It seems unlikely, but heading into the fifth match week and the first midweek games, a quarter of the Premier League teams remain unbeaten. Arsenal leads the way, having won four from four. People can say what they want about the competition the Gunners have faced, but they have a +8 goal difference – tied for best in the League – and can only play who is in front of them.

Goal difference is likely to be a significant factor this season, and three teams – Arsenal, Manchester City, and Liverpool – already have a better goal difference than Tottenham. Whereas City and Arsenal built their difference over their four games, Liverpool enhanced the standing in the tiebreaker by shellacking Bournemouth by nine goals.

Tottenham currently sports a +6 goal difference, which is fourth best and helps keep them in third, ahead of Brighton, who is also unbeaten, on goal difference.

The fifth unbeaten is a bit of a surprise and sits a few places back in seventh, as Newcastle has drawn three straight after winning their opening match. With two of those draws coming against Brighton and Manchester City on consecutive weekends, Newcastle should not be dismissed.

With Leeds, Chelsea, and Manchester United all battling those five teams in the top eight of the League, things are competitive early. So competitive that Liverpool sits in ninth, despite their impressive goal difference.

Tottenham needs to learn to win ugly

In some respects, the 0-2 win over Forest went precisely to plan, as Tottenham had ample opportunities to put Forest away and gave away few clear-cut looks at Hugo Lloris in goal. However, some poor finishing and solid Dean Henderson goalkeeping kept Tottenham from blowing away the Tricky Trees.

In the end, the depth and quality of Tottenham won out, producing goals in the first and last ten minutes of the match. Although Forest controlled much of the match between the goals, Tottenham found the big plays.

Finding big plays on off-days is something Championship teams are made of. I’m not saying Spurs are 100% winning a trophy, but learning to win ugly is part of the process. And a win was exactly what Tottenham needed and what they got.

Next. Tottenham player ratings in scrappy 0-2 win over Forest. dark