Harry Kane scored twice and missed a penalty as Tottenham maintained their unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest.
Kane finished beyond Dean Henderson to score the 200th league goal of his career early on, though Spurs were forced to withstand long periods of pressure as Forest produced a lively display.
Antonio Conte’s team should have made the points safe when Steve Cook bizarrely handled on his own goal-line 55 minutes in, but Kane’s spot-kick was well saved by Henderson to his right.
Yet Kane atoned as he nodded home Richarlison’s cross in the 81st minute, making the Spurs striker the Premier League’s joint-third highest goalscorer in the process.
Tottenham needed just five minutes to hit the front through a swift counter-attack, as Kane took Dejan Kulusevski’s pass in his stride before stroking into the bottom-left corner from 18 yards out.
200 – Harry Kane has now scored 200 league goals in his career, with the England striker netting 186 goals in the Premier League, nine in the Championship and five in League One. Milestone. pic.twitter.com/kgM29timyo
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 28, 2022
Kane was almost joined on the scoresheet by Son Heung-Min when he bent an effort over the bar 10 minutes later, before the England captain sent a low strike narrowly wide of the bottom-right corner.
But Forest gave as good as they got, going close through long-range efforts from Lewis O’Brien and Morgan Gibbs-White before the break.
Forest should have levelled when Ryan Yates headed Gibbs-White’s cross narrowly wide, but were then indebted to Henderson for making his second penalty save of the season to deny Kane after Cook’s handball.
However, the Manchester United loanee’s heroics ultimately counted for nothing when Richarlison’s outside-of-the-foot cross provided Kane with a simple finish to wrap up a win that marks Tottenham’s best start to a season since 2009-10.
What does it mean? Solid Spurs keep up strong start
While Tottenham’s early-season performances have not always been convincing, they have gone unbeaten through their first four Premier League games for just a second time in the last 13 years.
The last time Spurs did so (when picking up eight points in 2016-17), Mauricio Pochettino led them to a second-placed finish and their first defeat of the season came after 13 games. Their promising results will raise hopes Conte can lead them to a similar achievement this term.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 28, 2022
Kane brings up another landmark
Having broken the Premier League’s one-club goalscoring record against Wolves last week, Kane needed just five minutes to score his 200th league goal on Sunday, later recovering from a missed penalty to net for the 187th time in the Premier League.
It puts him joint third in the Premier League’s all-time goalscoring charts, alongside Andy Cole. Only Alan Shearer (260) and Wayne Rooney (208) are now ahead of the England captain, who has scored against 31 of the 32 teams he has faced in the Premier League. Only Brentford have prevented him from finding the net, doing so twice.
Dejan-vu as Kulusevski creates again
Kulusevski made a valuable contribution to Spurs’ successful bid for a top-four finish after arriving from Juventus in January, and the Sweden international has picked up where he left off this season.
After laying on the opener, the 22-year-old has two Premier League assists this season and 10 since his debut in February. No other player has teed up as many goals in the competition in that time.
Key Opta Facts
– Since the start of March, Tottenham have picked up more points in the Premier League than any other team (39), winning 12 of their 17 games in this time (D3 L2).
– Forest suffered their first home league defeat of 2022 (excluding play-offs), with this defeat also ending their eight-game winning run in the league at the City Ground.
– Henderson has only conceded one of the five penalties he has faced in the Premier League, the lowest percentage of any goalkeeper to face at least five spot-kicks.
– Kane’s penalty miss ended his run of 15 consecutive spot-kicks scored in the league for Tottenham, with this his first to be missed since February 2018 against Liverpool.
– Forest’s starting XI for this game was made up of players who were all British, the first entirely British and Northern Irish starting XI for a Premier League game since May 2011.
Tottenham face London rivals West Ham in their next Premier League outing on Wednesday, while Forest visit champions Manchester City.