In the end, 3-1 flattered Tottenham Hotspur as they were out-played and out-fought for the majority by Championship leaders Nottingham Forest on Wednesday evening.
After the loss to West Brom last Sunday, the League Cup showdown with Stuart Pearce's side was a chance to regain some form and confidence ahead of the weekend showdown with North London rivals Arsenal.
However, after 70 minutes Spurs' fans were fearing the worst as Jorge Grant put the visitors into a deserved lead at White Hart Lane.
Mauricio Pochettino's subs changed the game however, and gave the head coach a headache ahead of Saturday's clash.
Here are the GMS Player Ratings...
Michel Vorm - 6.5
Could do nothing about the game, nor anything with Ben Osborn's fierce shot that struk the bar. Handling was assured, kicking was good. Not a bad debut.
Kyle Naughton - 6.0
Will be disappointed to see Eric Dier picked ahead of him in the league, and Naughton gave a perfunctory performance but did not inspire confidence when Forest attacked.
Ben Davies - 6.5
Offered some much needed width on the left hand side but struggled to link up with Aaron Lennon and others. With Spurs chasing a goal, he roamed forward with more abandon and had more influence on the game.
Jan Vertonghen - 6.0
Spurs enjoyed a lot of possession but every time Forest broke they looked dangerous as neither Vertonghen nor Fazio looked rock solid. Fine, as always, on the ball, but yet to regain his top form.
Federico Fazio - 6.0
One great last ditch tackle in the first half came directly as a result of his dithering under a long ball. Went close with one rasping long range effort but is yet to show why he should be first choice ahead of others (same could be said about them too!)
Benjamin Stambouli - 6.0
Did a a steady job but failed to link the defence with attack nor adequately protect the back line from Forest forays forward. Showing strength in the tackle, but was dragged down by the poor performance of his midfield partners.
Nabil Bentaleb - 5.0
After impressing when first introduced to the first team, the Algerian midfielder's form has nose dived. Not commanding enough as a defensive midfielder, only offering limited passing, playing largely the way he faces, his movement is poor and at times Spurs might have been better playing with ten men.
Performed better when Mason came on and Bentaleb was giving sole responsibility for sitting deep, but needs to show more if his Spurs career is to blossom.
Paulinho - 5.5
Went close with a cheeky flick and header, but did not link up with Soldado at all and it was not surprising to see him subbed yet again.
Aaron Lennon - 5.5
Lennon is a right winger. He has great speed, he drops a shoulder and tries to beat a man to the touchline, before chipping in a cross. Everyone knows this, so why Pochettino continues to play him on the left, when the winger on the other side also cuts inside, and there is only one or at best two players in the box to pick out, is beyond logic.
Andros Townsend - 6.0
Bizarrely given the man of the match award by the TV pundits, Townsend did what he does best/worst. Ran down dead ends, cut inside, lashed shots high and wide. He gets a pass mark simply because he showed plenty of effort and kept going, and he picked up a fortunate assist when his 49th shot of the day was deflected in by Soldado.
Roberto Soldado - 6.5
For so long, it looked like another of those days. No service, no real effort, and £26million wasted. Then the changes came, the tempo increased, and Soldado showed that scoring instinct to put Tottenham in the lead.
Harry Kane (for Paulinho, 64) - 7.0
A fine finish to wrap up the tie, Kane added some much needed energy and presence to the forward line.
Ryan Mason (for Stambouli, 65) - 7.5
His fine strike from 25 yards changed the game. His starting position was better than his more illustrious team mates, and showed Pochettino what he has been missing from his two deeper central midfielders.
Erik Lamela (for Soldado, 85) - 7.0
Another impressive cameo from the bench for Lamela, who made hay in the open spaces as Forest chased an equaliser. His no-look through ball for Kane was inch perfect.