Adebayor savours revenge as Gunners crash at City | sports | Hindustan Times
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Adebayor savours revenge as Gunners crash at City

sports Updated: Sep 12, 2009 22:32 IST
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Emmanuel Adebayor secured his revenge over Arsenal as Manchester City delivered a statement of intent with a 4-2 win over the striker's former club here on Saturday.

The 25-million-pound striker headed the crucial third goal for City ten minutes from time and then sprinted the entire length of the field to celebrate provocatively in front of the Arsenal supporters.

Not surpisingly, that sparked a furious reaction and a chair was among the many items hurled onto the pitch by the furious visiting fans. Adebayor was booked for his celebration and further action could be taken following the flashpoint.

The former Gunner -- who was often a target for Arsenal fans because of his supposed lack of effort -- had also been involved in an earlier altercation with Robin van Persie in which he appeared to catch his former team mate in the face with his boot.

However, it was the goal controversy which proved the most memorable development during an incredible second half.

City had led from a lucky first half own-goal from Gunners keeper Manuel Almunia but Arsenal drew level just after the hour when Tomas Rosicky, playing for the first time in over 18 months, slipped the ball to van Persie who hit a magnificent equaliser from the edge of the area.

City were under intense pressure and Shay Given had to make excellent saves to keep out a William Gallas header and a Thomas Vermaelen long range strike which would have been just reward for Arsenal's domination in the opening part of the second half.

But in the 74th minute, Craig Bellamy swept in a superb shot from 15 yards after a neat build-up which saw Shaun Wright-Phillips send Micah Richards on his way into the Arsenal penalty area for the telling assist.

Adebayor's goal followed soon after but there was much more drama remaining in an astonishing encounter. In the 83rd minute, Wright-Phillips neatly finished by lobbing the keeper after he was played in on the break by Bellamy.

And with three minutes left, Rosicky capped a decent afternoon for himself -- if not for Arsenal -- by beating Given one-on-one for a late consolation.

There was even time for van Persie to hit the post after that and Arsenal squandered at least two more good opportunities, Nicklas Bendtner notably seeing another effort well saved by Given.

There had been no inkling of such drama in the opening stages in which City struggled to cope with Arsenal's passing and looked in danger of being swept away. However, against the run of play, they took a 20th minute lead from a Gareth Barry free-kick.

Richards rose magnificently above his markers and sent a looping header towards the top left corner.

Almunia backpedalled and managed to get a hand to the ball but could only help it onto the post and, with the cruellest bounce imaginable, the rebound struck the keeper on the back of the head and landed in the corner of his net.

Without Robinho and Carlos Tevez on display, City were lacking some of the quality that had been on display in their opening matches.

Bellamy tried gamely and his volley, from a half-cleared Barry free-kick, was deflected wide just after the half hour and, before the break, a run by Wright-Phillips took him to the by-line where his near post blast was easily kept out by Almunia.

It might have been different if William Gallas had not wasted Arsenal's first, and best, opening in the 13th minute when he met van Persie's corner but cleared the bar with a free header from six yards.

Although they had plenty of the ball after City's opener, Arsenal's end product was just as disappointing although the signs of their second half recovery were evident when Vermaelen's header, from a Cesc Fabregas free-kick, sailed just over after the restart.