Carabao Cup: Nottingham Forest 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur – Strong Spurs XI knocked out

Renan Lodi
Renan Lodi was a brilliant opener for the hosts

Premier League bottom side Nottingham Forest knocked Tottenham Hotspur out of the Carabao Cup.

Forest were the better side and took the lead on 50 minutes with a fine curling effort from Renan Lodi.

The impressive Jesse Lingard headed home after a swift counter-attack to double their lead.

Spurs manager Antonio Conte named a strong XI including Harry Kane, but his side were outclassed at the City Ground.

Steve Cooper, by contrast, made nine changes to the side that drew with Brentford in the league on Saturday, but his side played more flowing football before finding an early breakthrough in the second half.

Lingard won the ball in midfield, on-loan Atletico Madrid left-back Lodi charged forward onto it, cut back onto his right foot and curled a shot past debutant goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

Forest doubled their lead seven minutes later when former Spurs defender Serge Aurier launched a counter-attack from the right, his deep cross being headed across goal by Sam Surridge who nodded to Lingard.

The home side hung on as Orel Mangala was sent off with 15 minutes remaining after receiving a second booking for a messy challenge, but they did so to frustrate Spurs.

Kane couldn’t save poor Spurs

Tottenham have not won a major trophy since 2008, and with questions over Spurs’ performance despite reaching the Champions League knockout stages, Conte may have played a role in the selection.

It was a remarkably strong side with just three changes from Sunday’s defeat to Liverpool, including Kane leading the way on the evening before the England squad for the 2022 World Cup was named.

Eric Dier, likely to feature in Gareth Southgate’s selection for Qatar, was also picked – but neither could lift Spurs on an evening where they played well.

Conte said after the game: “It’s very disappointing. We tried to play the game in the right way and I can’t complain about the commitment of my players.

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“Now we have to finish Saturday in the right way because we have an important game against Leeds and we want to end this difficult period with a win.”

Spurs trailed after 10 minutes in absurd conditions, when a clearance from Forest striker Taiwo Awonyi came in and Foster flat-footed the post. The ball came back to Lingard but Foster managed to save the midfielder’s head.

Spurs were lucky not to be awarded a penalty when a Lodi cross hit the arm of Ryan Sessegnon with the left wing-back saved by the lack of VAR in the EFL Cup ahead of the quarter-finals.

Forest finally got the goals they deserved in the second half and Spurs thrived after Mangal was sent off and they couldn’t find a breakthrough, with Wayne Hennessey’s late header ruled out for offside.

Kane’s 21st consecutive start for Spurs ended on the hour mark when Conte replaced his captain. Fortunately for Southgate and England fans, it appeared to be a tactical change rather than an injury.

However, there will be worries for Denmark as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was sent off at half-time for a tackle.

Forest aims for another trophy increase

Cooper spoke before the match of Forest’s need to use the EFL Cup as a platform for Premier League survival.

Forest are bottom of the table, three points from safety and host Crystal Palace on Saturday before the World Cup break.

Last season’s run to the FA Cup quarter-finals – where they were eventually beaten by Liverpool – aided their promotion bid, and beating a Champions League hopeful here would give them renewed hope that they can climb out of the bottom three.

Lingard, who is unlikely to be named in the England squad on Thursday, was particularly impressive, but his energy and creativity showed here just how important he can be to Forest’s survival bid.

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The 32-capped England international had a goal and an assist and could have created more, only for Surridge to save Foster from his feet on 54 minutes.

The win for Forest was their second after defeating Grimsby in the second round – they overcame Liverpool in the league at the end of October before seeing off another top four contender in the cup.

Alignments

Nottm Forest

Establishment 4-3-1-2

  • 13Hennessy
  • 24AurierSubstituted forN Williamsat 62′minutes
  • 4Worrell
  • 30Lying
  • 32Lodi
  • 22Yates
  • 5WeddingBooked in 75 minutes
  • 14O’BrienSubstituted forturn backat 79′minutes
  • 11LingardBooked in 64 minutesSubstituted forS. Cookat 78′minutes
  • 9AwoniyiSubstituted forJohnsonat 62′minutes
  • 16SurgeSubstituted forGibbs-Whiteat 79′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Henderson
  • 3S. Cook
  • 6Mbe Soh
  • 7N Williams
  • 8turn back
  • 10Gibbs-White
  • 20Johnson
  • 23Freuler
  • 25Dennis

Tottenham

Establishment 3-5-2

  • 20Forster
  • 6D. Sanchez
  • 15DyerBooked in 90 minutes
  • 34Lenglet
  • 2DohertySubstituted forSpenceat 65′minutes
  • 4skipSubstituted forKulusevskyat 59′minutesBooked in 87 minutes
  • 38BisomaBooked in 67 minutes
  • 5HøjbjergSubstituted forBentankurat 45′minutesBooked in 88 minutes
  • 19R Sessegnon
  • 10KaneSubstituted forGilat 59′minutes
  • 14PerisicSubstituted forRicharlisonat 59′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Loris
  • 9Richarlison
  • 11Gil
  • 12Emerson Royal
  • 21Kulusevsky
  • 24Spence
  • 25Tanganga
  • 29sir
  • 30Bentankur

Judge:
Peter Banks

Arrival:
28,384

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