November 18, 2012
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Adebayor the fall guy as Arsenal swamp Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored but was then sent off as his former club Arsenal stormed back from behind to win 5-2 in Saturday's north London derby at the Emirates Stadium.

The Togolese forward tapped in a 10th-minute opener after Wojciech Szczesny saved from Jermain Defoe but was sent off eight minutes later for an uncontrolled lunge at Santi Cazorla.

Per Mertesacker's 24th-minute header drew Arsenal level and quick-fire goals from Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud put the hosts 3-1 up at half-time.

Cazorla converted Podolski's fine cross on the hour to increase Arsenal's lead, before Gareth Bale drove home a low shot to reduce the arrears in the 71st minute.

Arsenal had the final say though, Theo Walcott converting from substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's pass in injury time to produce a repeat of the scoreline from last season's equivalent fixture in February.

"We showed people how good we are today," Walcott told Sky Sports television.

"It'll give us tremendous spirit, and we've got a lot of players back to fitness and everybody's very confident."

It was Arsenal's first win in four matches in all competitions and took them up to sixth place in the Premier League table, with Spurs two points further back in eighth after a third successive league defeat.

Tottenham coach Andre Villas-Boas had no complaints about Adebayor's dismissal.

"I think the sending-off determined the game, but the referee made the right decision," he said.

Defending champions Manchester City can assume top spot later on Saturday if they win at home to Aston Villa, with leaders Manchester United playing at Norwich City in the evening kick-off.

Third-placed Chelsea visit manager Roberto Di Matteo's former club, West Bromwich Albion, while Everton will bid to keep hold of fourth place at third-bottom Reading.

A crucial game at the table's base sees bottom club Queens Park Rangers host second-bottom Southampton.

In the day's other fixtures, Liverpool host Wigan Athletic and Swansea City visit Newcastle United.

AFP

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