HARRY KANE and Son Heung-min scored the goals to give Spurs a happy ending to their wretched week.
And Fraser Forster’s stoppage-time penalty save prevented things becoming more dicey than they should have been.
But Richarlison made a good start of cleaning up his own s**t.
The Brazilian’s frank verdict on his first season at Tottenham was shared by manager Antonio Conte in their fiery reactions to the pathetic Champions League exit.
But the under-fire wantaway Italian gave the outspoken star the chance to make amends and he took it with both hands.
A first Premier League goal in an injury-hit campaign still eludes Richarlison. A tight VAR call robbed him and Spurs of a fairytale start inside three minutes.
To his credit, the former Watford and Everton forward then played a part in all three Spurs goals in a man of the match display and left the field to a standing ovation.
His and Tottenham’s performance suggests that they are prepared to keep playing for Conte, if chairman Daniel Levy decides not to sack him.
Visiting captain Joe Worrall scored a late consolation goal, but otherwise the day could hardly have gone better for Spurs.
After top-four rivals Liverpool lost at Bournemouth at lunchtime, this victory gives Tottenham a six-point lead over the Reds.
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Richarlison thought he had begun his personal clean-up operation inside three minutes when he latched on to Oliver Skipp’s long pass and smashed the ball home.
But yet another of those tediously long VAR delays produced yet another of those annoyingly fractional offside calls.
To the credit of the Brazilian and his team, they did not allow the disappointment to linger too long and took the lead in the 19th minute.
It was Richarlison who initially fought to keep the ball alive, before Ben Davies worked it to Pedro Porro. The wing-back’s cross seemed to reach Kane in slow motion and you just knew he was going to beat former team-mate Serge Aurier to the ball.
The header back across goal and past Keylor Navas was perfect.
Richarlison then earned the penalty with which Kane reached 20 league goals for the sixth time in nine seasons.
Kane played the initial pass and Richarlison tempted Forest captain Joe Worrall into a challenge so misguided and woeful that he did not have the heart to appeal against the spot-kick.
The Tottenham captain converted his first penalty since that fateful night in Qatar against France with supreme confidence.
Forest played exactly like a side who had scored just three times away from home. They posed no threat whatsoever until late in the half when Brennan Johnson forced Cristian Romero to cut out a cross and Jonjo Shelvey had a shot deflected wide.
Visiting boss Steve Cooper acted at half time, hooking the ever-ineffective Jesse Lingard and midfielder Orel Mangala in favour of Emmanuel Dennis and Andre Ayew.
Richarlison had another sight of goal within a minute of the break, but Renan Lodi did enough to put him off.
The same Forest player then earned a yellow card for pulling back his fellow Brazilian in the middle of the pitch.
The visitors improved – how could they have failed? – but not by enough.
When a free kick fell invitingly in the Spurs penalty area, it was not to the right player, with centre back Felipe hooking the ball off target.
The game was becoming a little too end to end for the liking of Conte and the home fans, with Johnson forcing a routine save out of Fraser Forster.
But then Richarlison latched on to another ball down the right channel. Worrall cut out the initial cross but from the second, Aurier totally misjudged his challenge, Son controlled the ball and then despatched it past Navas.
Forest’s surge was too little, too late.
It was the 75th minute when Aurier’s header from a corner tested Forster for the first time in the game.
The Spurs goalkeeper tipped the ball over the bar and soon made a decent stop from Dennis.
Richarlison was inches away from diverting a Ben Davies header into the net and Son should have done better with a shot that Navas saved.
Forster was at fault, however, when Worrall pulled one back with eight minutes left, nodding in at the back post after the latest in a series of Forest corners bore fruit.
Navas stopped sub Dejan Kulusevski making it four but then the Tottenham man’s careless hand gave Ayew the chance to make things really interesting.
But his penalty was struck too close to big man Forster and Ryan Yates could not reach the rebound.
Cooper was booked after a late scuffle in the technical areas. If only his team had shown more fight sooner..
But the stage had been set for Richarlison and Spurs to answer their critics, and he took the lead role with aplomb.
Before the late drama, he left the pitch with applause ringing round a ground that had been filled with boos on Wednesday.
A week is a long time in football, as well as politics.
You can follow how it all unfolded with our live blog below…