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Adebayor madness mars Man City win

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Phil McNulty | 22:37 UK time, Saturday, 12 September 2009

Emmanuel Adebayor - in an act of contrition that came too late to spare him the attention of the Football Association - tugged at the heartstrings amid the pandemonium at Eastlands.

He single-handedly slapped lurid headlines on top of a text that should have only told the story of Manchester City's most impressive mission statement since manager Mark Hughes embarked on the Abu Dhabi-backed refit of his squad.

Adebayor's senseless, provocative 90-yard dash to incite Arsenal's supporters after his goal against his former club provided an unsavoury sub-plot to a 4-2 win that demonstrated Manchester City's revolution is built on substance as well as finance.

He later apologised publicly for an ill-judged burst of pace and stamina that took him from one elated end of Eastlands to hostile territory at the other, explaining: "People who love, people who know me, know how I behave."

Bit lame. And the problem for Adebayor is that the people who do not love him also know how he behaves - and the loveless were easy to track down after he marred a match that crackled from first to last.

Adebayor celebrates his goal for Man City by running to the Arsenal fansArsenal's supporters actually did not love Adebayor in the dying days of his career at the Emirates and his former team-mate Robin van Persie is no longer in the fan club either after accusing him of "a real lack of class" after having his faced raked by his old mate.

Adebayor's face adorned the walls around Eastlands in readiness for this eagerly-awaited encounter - but they took on the appearance of wanted posters as Arsenal's fans drifted away back to London and the team coach followed them home.

The Gunners' following departed infuriated by the way they were baited by Adebayor, the team - in the battered shape of Van Persie - were left literally scarred by a stray boot that was, at the very best, questionable.

Van Persie was as unerringly on target with his savage public attack on Adebayor as he invariably is in front of goal. He left no room for doubt that he felt this was a deliberate act.

How sad the focus should be on the dark side of a game that Adebayor illuminated with his brilliance before casting a cloud over what might be a seminal day for City with his antics.

Manchester City deserved to claim all the attention and plaudits without distraction after providing enthralling evidence they may challenge the top four this season. It is Adebayor's fault they will not get it.

Emotion is at the heart of the game - and let's be honest human nature will scream at a player to give a bit back to supporters who taunt him mercilessly - but so is common sense and it was conspicuous by its absence in this incident.

And Adebayor's emotions were clearly, and understandably, on overload when he shrugged off his Manchester City team-mates in preference to demonstrating his delight in front of Arsenal fans.

Adebayor's folly - he even spent the moments before kick-off warming up in the Arsenal half - was underscored by the chaos that ensued. The situation briefly threatened to boil over and it was only the prompt and efficient intervention of Eastlands' stewards and police that restored a semblance of order.

Manchester City also managed the situation admirably as boss Hughes followed up Adebayor's regret with an apology - but the damage was done and it might be best if the striker feels his hamstring in the warm-up before the return at the Emirates.

Hughes suggested in his match notes that Adebayor and Kolo Toure, in sharp contrast warmly received by Arsenal's fans, "are not the type of characters who will see today as a chance to make a point."

Adebayor certainly had a strange way of not making his point - but it would also do City a grave disservice to let this sideshow disguise what they served up in front of an esctatic Eastlands.

Manchester City's supporters, as well as the cynics, had been waiting for them to be presented with a serious test to use as a barometer of their pretensions to challenge the established order at the Premier League summit

The meeting with Arsenal, as well as the Manchester derby at Old Trafford next Sunday, were regarded as accurate measures so Hughes was right to be a satisfied manager when attention finally switched back to the football.

Adebayor was the focal point of a City attack that showed verve and variety in abundance in the latter stages of the second half, even without the injured Carlos Tevez and Robinho and the rehabilitating Roque Santa Cruz.

He showed everything that is good about his game with one weaving, wandering run that took out most of the Arsenal defence before serving up a chance Shaun Wright-Phillips somehow missed.

Craig Bellamy was tireless and deserved his goal and Wright-Phillips also got in on the act as City confirmed life will not be dull with such an array of attacking riches at their disposal this season.

Hughes might argue that an even more promising sign was how City hung in as Arsenal dominated the early sparring until Manuel Almunia's own goal put them ahead. It was a trick they repeated when Arsenal dominated the first 20 minutes after the break, a spell of supremacy that brought Van Persie's equaliser.

It was at this point, we all agreed, that "The Old City" would have crumbled to defeat. Not a bit of it - they rode their luck but the way they took Arsenal out with three goals in a devastasting 10-minute spell was impressively ruthless.

Shay Given and Gareth Barry may not be headline-grabbing signings, but their maturity, experience and simple competence make them as valuable as any other new arrivals. Model professionals Hughes can count on in more troubled times.

For Arsenal, that collapse and their failure to take advantage when they were on top must be causes for concern for Arsene Wenger. He drew comparisons with the recent defeat at Manchester United - but this was different and nowhere near as convincing.

There were likenesses, but not in a good way. Arsenal have a nasty habit of conceding goals when they are in charge of football matches. It happened at Manchester United and again here.

Arsenal also showed that the defensive vulnerability Wenger hoped he had eradicated with the introduction of Thomas Vermaelen still lurks waiting to do damage. He was not particularly culpable, but Arsenal's midfield and defence went missing in action in the key phase when City won the game.

The great sadness for City was that on a day when Adebayor's footballing brilliance and the quality of his colleagues should have claimed our undivided attention, his foolishness ensured some of the gloss was stripped away.

So let's at least end with the very positive notes City can rightly dwell on. If we wanted a sign that they not simply all show, this was the biggest they have delivered so far in a flawless start to the new season.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Adebayor can not use emotion as an excuse for his 60 yard run to provoke the Arsenal fans. From the evidence of his pre-match press comments, he has clearly relished this opportunity for revenge. The apology came across as completely insincere and only took in the MOTD pundits.

    If this truly was a moment of madness then it would still be inexcusable since he has had enough time to mentally prepare for the scenario and decide on how he would conduct himself if he was to score.

    Taken together with the stamping incident the FA should take stern action.

  • Comment number 2.

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  • Comment number 3.

    Its a shame to see Adebayor act so stupidly after he came across so well in his recent interviews.

  • Comment number 4.

    Overall good blog Phil but a bit overly-dramatic in terms of Adebayor, despite his antics that I'll come on to in a second the performance of Manchester City was that of maturity and professionalism and should take the plaudits, and I feel that your blog which with the title you've given it, is inciting more people to forget about the result.

    Adebayor was out of order on what he did to Van Persie, it's one thing to do it to a fellow professional footballer but also a former teammate and strike partner makes it worse.

    His goal celebration however, despite the foolishness of doing it was fully justified IMO, Arsenal fans have never sang the praises of Ade (even 2 seasons ago when he was on fire) and City seems to be a place where he is getting the financial and emotional support that a player like him needs, and all of us with human emotions inside us have had the desire to rub something into the face of people who have doubted us or insulted us.

    That is all Adebayor did. Now I need a shower because as a United fan...... sticking up for City has make me feel all dirty! :-)

  • Comment number 5.

    Mr Adebayor, if only your undoubted talent could be reflected in your character. That you are unable to combine the two only strengthens the fact that Arsenal are and always will be better than you....

  • Comment number 6.

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  • Comment number 7.

    "all of us with human emotions inside us have had the desire to rub something into the face of people who have doubted us"

    But Adebayor is a professional and surely that term implies the ability to rise above such petty desires, doesn't it? Adebayor could have been injured by thrown objects, staff or other fans could have been hurt in crowd surges, etc. Surely the goal and a 4-1 scoreline is 'rubbing it in' enough. Then you have the issue of any ban he might receive which lets down his club and his new fans.

    No, still no excuses in my book.

  • Comment number 8.

    Sheer lunacy by Adebayor on the celebrations should be hit heavily by the power,s that be then take into account the assaualt on Van Persie and he really could and should be in trouble best thing about it was Shearer squirming on MOTD when Lineker briefly alluded to his little indiscretion with Leicester,s Neil Lennon a while back best talkin to Hansen about thuggery next time the issue comes up leave Shearer out of that one(people in glass houses and all that)

  • Comment number 9.

    Adebayor was not the issue in the Manchester City v Arsenal match. A player booed consistently by the away fans did what he knows to do: scored a well taken header and secured the Manchester City win. The issue is that Arsenal were demolished and, while the scored 10 goals on the opening two matches, they followed it with conceding 6 goals in Manchester. And another season looks likely to prove fruitless for the club with, perhaps, the most expensive tickets in Europe.

    Arsenal fans may feel angered because an ex-player of theirs celebrated a goal in front of them, in his new home ground. This doesn't give them the right, though, to throw 'things' in the football pitch, neither gives them the right to send a making-a-living steward unconscious by a thrown object. In fact, they could show their frustration towards their club's owners, as the pay the most and receive the least in return. Arsenal play good football to watch but, really, they're toothless.

    It's been two unfortunate incidents involving Adebayor, Mr McNulty, but you got it wrong today: it was about Manchester City demolishing Arsenal and not about Adebayor's reactions. Manchester City were superb and this comes from a Manchester United supporter.

  • Comment number 10.

    "Emmanuel was outstanding today," said the City boss.

    Yeah outstanding on RVP's face.

    As for the celebration-
    What an idiot Adebeyor is how much more would he have been thought of if he had just let it go and got on with the game. I have seen that kind of respect shown so many times by players who have scored against their old club. Restraint and respect, which doesnt seem to part of the Adebayor make up.

  • Comment number 11.

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  • Comment number 12.

    Didnt feel like making a positive comment on Rosicky's goal then?
    No I suppose it would have tarnished all the dribbling and drooling over Man City and given Arsenal just a little bit of a shine.

  • Comment number 13.

    Surely Adebayor made his point to the Arsenal fans by scoring and having a really good game at both ends of the pitch? To run the length of the pitch to 'celebrate' shows a lack of class and respect. I am sure we can all give examples of footballers playing against their former teams under emotional circumstances, but to incite crowd disturbance and cynically try and injure a former team mate can and should not be condoned. I am sure the views of many of us would be different had Adebayor caught RVP in the eye rather then the cheek. Its taken two bits of mindless action from Adebayor to confirm why Arsenal fans never felt an affinity towards him...

  • Comment number 14.

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  • Comment number 15.

    While I do not condone the stupid actions of Adebayor during his celebration, I do think it is a bit easy to overexaggerate the issue.

    I was at the game yesterday and not 10 minutes earlier at 1-1 a section of the Arsenal fans were singing the 'racist' Adebayor chant about his parents. It stuck in my mind especially because of the Wenger chant issue which has been a talking point as of late.

    Maybe if the fans cant take it then they shouldnt dish it out.

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm certainly not an Arsenal fan, but am I the only person that thinks fair play to Adebayor. He stayed on the pitch, didn't jesture aggressively, just raised his arms. The premier league is a sterile environment at best and I can guarentee that 'run' made for a much better atmosphere. It won't be long before you can't stand, shout, and god forbid swear at a premier league football match. Plastic new wembley and every commercail aspect that comes with it has a lot to answer for.

    The stamping incident was, however, out of order.

  • Comment number 17.

    As a City fan I would like to see MH fine him 2 weeks wages straight away and drop him for a couple of games , not for the celebration but for the kick out at Van Persie that was as bad as anything Scholes did,(who deserved his red card)he might not have meant to hurt him but if your wearing studs and wave your foot towards your oppponent to tap him back in the face ,for kicking you in the leg its out of order ,he was lucky he didnt catch his eyes.Great players come with temperaments but that is no excuse and they will only learn discipline by being disciplined.Beating Arsenal 4-2 was a great win and it was good to see Petrov playing again ,next week is the second half of the test against the Rags who have a more steely midfield if not as good as breaking sides down as Arsenal , then we will truly see where we stand De Jong will keep Giggs out of the game so what will they have to offer be interesting.

  • Comment number 18.

    Bit of a mountain out a molehill - Ade was given no end of stick by the Arsenal fans towards the end of his time there, and just wanted to give a bit back. Bit naughty, but hardly a footballing crime worthy of the headlines it's attracting. I suspect if it had been another, less controversial, player doing exactly the same thing there would have been a few raised eyebrows and nothing more.

    The real shame is not the Ade took away from the story of a great day of football, but that the hacks (present company excepted) decided to write about a silly little incident instead of a great match.

  • Comment number 19.

    I am just worried someone would have lost their eye in yesterday`s game. This is what FIFA and the FA should stump out.

  • Comment number 20.

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  • Comment number 21.

    So is it okay for some of the Arsenal fans to participate in a racist chant and then spit their dummy out when someone, god forbid, slides on his knees infront of them?

  • Comment number 22.

    Shows how fickle football is.
    For fans and players alike.

    Man City fans should take note at the kind of character you have with you, it will come back to bite you too.

    Heroes = Villians

  • Comment number 23.

    Shocking scenes at Middle Eastlands - not from Adebayour, but from the disgraceful Arsenal 'fans' who surged forward, hurling objects and vile abuse and knocking a steward to the ground in the process.

    Yes, Adebayour should receive a penalty for his stupidity, but Arsenal should be equally hit for the appalling behaviour of their supporters.

    Mind you, if they showed the same level of interest at their own ground instead of getting the Saturday papers and laptops out at 3pm on a Saturday, maybe they could spur their severely lacking side to actually perform to the level we're all told they can.

    What a joke.

  • Comment number 24.

    What a silly boy Adeybeyor is. West Ham & Millwall fans were pilloried for crowd trouble recently then along comes an incident like this which could easily have led to a major disturbance.
    The raking of Van Persie also looked deliberate but only Adebeyor himself knows what his true intentions were. It looks worse every time you see it.
    As for the claim that the goal celebration was done in the heat of the moment Don't make me laugh. He ran 90 yards to do it at the Arsenal end. Had he scored at that end then perhaps this might, just might ring true but not after sprinting the length of the pitch.
    He should be hammered by the FA.

  • Comment number 25.

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  • Comment number 26.

    There was nothing wrong with the actions of Adebayor, incitement my foot, what were the arsenal fans doing throughout the game and ever since he left then?

    If you can't take it then don't give it out...simple really.

  • Comment number 27.

    But Adebayor is a professional and surely that term implies the ability to rise above such petty desires, doesn't it

    It depends on your definition of professional

    By definition 1, yes he has failed. However, by definition 2, which seems to fit far better in terms of footballers, I don't see what he has done wrong. He took dogs abuse all afternoon, and when he chooses to point out in no uncertain terms that this is what you get in return, he is crucified for it.

    I'd be curious to see if any Arsenal fan could spend an hour and a half at work having insults hurled at them by thousands of people and fail to respond...

  • Comment number 28.

    I disagree that this is a particularly impressive 'mission statement' from Man City. After all, they beat Arsenal in the same fixture last year 3-1, and were actually more dominant in that match. Arsenal's finishing cost them, as it did against Man Utd, and they showed some real defensive ineptitude.

    As to Adebayor, I can't believe anyone is naive enough to be defending him after the riots at West Ham - Millwall of a few weeks ago. Former players are given stick by fans all the time. Adebayor wasn't treated any worse by the Arsenal fans than a thousand other players have been in the past, though I've never been a great believer in booing particular players - it has a habit of coming back to bite you. The onus is on the players on the pitch to behave and conduct themselves in a professional manner, not retaliating like school children.

  • Comment number 29.

    Arsenal are becoming rather predictable. It seems that the same problem keeps on coming up again and again every season and Mr. Wenger does not deal with it squarely. He is refusing to admit that they have no steel in midfield and defense, critical in helping a team turn around its fortunes esp in crucial away games such as the past two in Manchester.
    Adebayor deserves a pat on the back because yesterday he proved to the Arsenal fans that he is a good powerful striker, and am afraid it is advantage Man City. The rest is for the FA to decide but Arsenal, and not Man City, have come out the worse and really need to look at their defense. At 1-1, Micah Richards should not have gone that easily past Song. Song should have shielded him from getting the space to cross into the box.

  • Comment number 30.

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  • Comment number 31.

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  • Comment number 32.

    I assume that the Arsenal manager and fans will have a sudden change of heart on the benefits of retrospective action based on video footage. Banning Adebayor would be absolutely correct in the same way as it was for Eduardo but Wenger and Co. are in danger of looking hypocritical at best.

    I'm surprised that you saw the incident Phil - you didn't notice the dive, did you?

  • Comment number 33.

    Come on..... lets not turn football into snooker (bar Ronnie o Sullivan).I love an edge in a player leave Adhebayor alone. Sometimes Phil McNulty can sound like Ron Manager ("and disabled people not to far away")

  • Comment number 34.

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  • Comment number 35.

    Couple of things:

    Didnt Gary Neville run the length of Old Trafford to goad Liverpool fans, causing a riot in the process a few years back after a late Man U winner? that got swepped under the carpet without any high handed moral preaching from the media.

    Van Persie: Is this the same guy who was rubbishing City in the press before the game, and who on scoring didnt run to the Arsenal fans NO he ran to the City fans and told them all to go forth and multiply, watch MOTD if you dont believe me. He then went straight through the back of Adebayor who was silly to retaliate BUT if he had meant to stamp on his head from a yard he wouldnt have missed.

    All the media was lining up to report how Wengers artists had taken City to the cleaners but it didnt happen, this incident has come a manner from heaven for the media and they can now rubbish City for an incident that happens to most teams who visit Old Trafford but goes unreported and certainly without the hysterical reactions we have seen so far.

  • Comment number 36.

    I don't follow Man C or Arsenal but I loved yesterday's game and Adebayor's performance! Agression, blood, thunder, goading the opposition into a fury, poetic skills, belief, determination, anger, vengeance it had it all: This is certainly why I love football. More of the same please Ade, week after week!!

  • Comment number 37.

    Arsenal fans with thier own stupidity would facilate the sale of thier best players.They did it with Hleb, Adebayor, and would do it gain with Eboue,a player who is far better attacking right back when compared to Sagna.

    Pundits like Mr Mcnulty sadly stoke the ignorance that is being displayed by a large majority of the Arsenal fanbase,he claimed Arsenal were better off when Arsenal sold Ade,and sadly tthe fans bought into the BS propogated by the vocal majority.

    This team would continue to face dissapointment after dissapointment until a true replacement is found for Hleb.

  • Comment number 38.

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  • Comment number 39.

    Whatever about Ade etc and it was disgraceful for one that got his mentoring at Arsenal, I feel our loss yesterday and at Man U was for want of a goalkeeper. We have a questionable defence but with a goalkeeper constantly off his lines, what next. That penalty with Rooney, OG yesterday, all serve to take the wind out of players. We need a top class Goalkeeper and Alumnia and Fabianski are just not good enought at this level.
    Arshavin missing didn't help either. Why has Wenger gone and spend so much on players who have constant injury problem? Squad is light enough but add in the injuries and we are just not strong enough

  • Comment number 40.

    Whilst not condoning his celebration, isn't it about time that supporters are held responsible for their reactions as human beings? So the nasty man rubbed some salt into the wounds after scoring. That does not excuse supporters from acting like animals. Or am I allowed start throwing things at my friends every time they mock my team for losing?

  • Comment number 41.

    Good to see that in a game of 6 goals, all the press and plenty of others want to concentrate on is the goal celebration incident involving Adebayor. Was it stupid of him? Hell yes. In particular as it's taken everyone's attention away from the fact that City beat a very good Arsenal side. But this kind of sums up all the reporting about City these days though, where if it can be turned to a negative, it is. Same deal with the "foot stamping" incident really, where Van Persey went skidding wildy into the tackle to begin with, yet this fails to even get a mention. Or the magical run from Adebayor, where not 1 but 3 Arsenal players tried (in vain) to hack him down - not a word is said. Just a pity that one wasn't rewarded with a goal from SWP. All in all though, a cracking game, and a very good victory, so let's concentrate on that shall we, and stop the bleating just because, God forbid, Arsenal were beaten by Man City!!

  • Comment number 42.

    Given the recent points raised about the Wenger chants and the numerous complaints made by both Arsenal fans and football club alike, how strange then to hear what sounded like racist chants directed towards Adebayor yesterday.

    What will the London-favouring-Arsenal media make of this then?

  • Comment number 43.

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  • Comment number 44.

    It was a wild tackle from RVP and if it hadn't been for Abedayor quick reactions I think we would have seen him go off badly injured. RVP was made to look stupid. Thats what hurts him most.

  • Comment number 45.

    a good blog. however i see people praising the maturity of manchester city's performance, that maybe the case but Adebayors antic's in my opinion show just what sort of problems manchester city could face. they are not a team they are 11 different players. maybe that is harsh on the likes of given, De jong, those sort of players, but while everything is rosey i'm sure they will flourish but one little slip up and they will just keeping falling i feel, as adeybayor showed us, to him it is all about him, not the team. there in lies the problem in my opinion but i suppose we will just have to wait and see were their first challenge really lies and how they will cope

  • Comment number 46.

    I'm still not sure what Adebayor was booked for. He didn't leave the pitch, he didn't take his shirt off, so what is the issue. If he is to be punished for that, then Van Perse should be as well for running towards the City fans after his goal, and swearing at them.

    I think that Ade has been quite restrained, considering the abuse and racist chanting being aimed at him.

    I also don't know how the FA can ban him. The ref dealt with the celebration by booking him, and clearly saw the 'stamp' from two yards away, so under the FA's rules, they can't act. Why do I think they may find a loophole to keep the Sky 4 happy.

  • Comment number 47.

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  • Comment number 48.

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  • Comment number 49.

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  • Comment number 50.

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  • Comment number 51.

    Phil, I think from the feedback you are getting, you can essentially see that you read that all wrong. I watched the match, something I haven't done in recent times and the said tackle, I dunno but it looked to me that Van Persie really went after Adebayor. And that was after a certain Song had blatantly kicked out at Adebayor. None of that comes out from your blog. Or what match were you watching?
    If we remember right, Arsenal fans did produce a brochure to sell the man who has now scored in every match he has played in in the current campaign. That is what you get for egging a player on, Arsenal. And Phil, Adebayor didn't knock a steward out cold. Arsenal hooligans did, or what do you call people who abuse a person, but cannot take their comeuppance when it is served up?
    Except for the poor steward, and Van Persie's face, this is actually laughable. Poor Arsenal. You struggle so hard to sell a player, then when you come up against him, he decimates all, from the coach who sold him to the players to the fans. I actually am very surprised at Van Persie. I do have a recollecton of his disciplinary shenanigans, and I'm unconvinced at his saying he was stamped on. Maybe replays will show otherwise, but really,don't go to ground if you don't want to be touched. Or will Gallas say he was also assaulted for the kick in the mouth he got.
    Obviously there is not much love for Adebayor at the Emirates,and all parties are agreed about this. So the GUNNERS dished out what they had prepared for Adebayor, and did he serve up his riposte in a way they will never forget. I'm sure everytime he cleared away a ball from a setpiece, the Arsenal faithful felt like they'd been kicked in the teeth.
    Phil, drop the blinkers and political correctness. He gave back in kind what he had been copping. I would have done much the same. Ha ha ha ha.

  • Comment number 52.

    Really enjoyed Adebayor's goal celebration, he's a great character, one of my favourite players in the premiership right now, a massive draw. If anything is out of line it's the supporters who threw things and the fact they couldn't control themselves. Bigger men would be able to shrug it off and we could have a joke about it, but it's pathetic to see all these frustrated types in the stand reacting the way they did.
    And the way it's presented in the media is also lamentable. In no way did Adebayor 'marr' the game whatsoever, if anything he added more excitement to the proceedings, which the hypocrits in the media lap up!
    So what are you all ranting about? Reminds me of Cantona and Palace - media banging on nonsense while most people around the country simply found the incident highly entertaining. So lighten up the lot of you.

  • Comment number 53.

    If MY comment at 35 isnt printed then it just shows how biased the BBC is.

  • Comment number 54.

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  • Comment number 55.

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  • Comment number 56.

    I fully support what Adebayor did. The Gunners fans are possibly the best in the EPL at taking themselves too seriously and they should have supported Adebayor on his comeback from injury instead of blaming losses last season on him when he was out of form. The real reason they had the losses they did is that the blend of experience and youth was not there, is still not there, and I believe that having played city and Man utd and lost Arsenal are now out of the title race. :) The furore about Ade's celebration is just a distraction from the fact that the Gunners were well and truly humbled. Good to see things changing at the top and hopefully the nay sayers will now start taking City seriously like I have been doing since the start of the season.

  • Comment number 57.

    Adebayor showed again why despite his immense ability, he is a deeply flawed player. Their is simply no defence for his actions, the reaction from the Arenal support was inveitable and it was lucky no-one was injured. I heard a few pundits yesterday trying to defend his actions after the goal as simply being in the "heat of the moment", that is not excuse at all virtually every single infringment that takes place in football is in the "heat of the moment" that doesn't mean players should avoid punishment.

    Hopefully the FA will come down hard on Adebayor with a 5 or 6 match ban giving him time to truley cotemplate his actions.

    As for City the speed they hit on the break was breath taking especially given Robinhio and Tevez were out. Still far to early to count them in to any top four or title race however it should be a very intresting match next Sunday.

  • Comment number 58.

    The hysteria caused by a goal celebration is unbelievable. i used to go to plenty of matches home and away and if the opposition scored and they celebrated in front of you, so what......what do you expect them to do ? walk away and shake each others hands, saying well played sir ?........ if an opposition player celebrated in front of me, it would never justify surging forward, throwing objects on to the pitch and the stewards...its part of the game, one team trying to beat the other..............we all talk about role models etc but all i saw was what appeared to be adult people behaving in a ridiculous manner all because a former player( who had been abused all afternoon by said adult people ) had the temerity to celebrate his goal in front of them.

  • Comment number 59.

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  • Comment number 60.

    I don't see it as a big deal. I remember Andrew Johnson behaving similarly at Villa Park when he scored against the home side - he had been at Birmingham and obviously disliked the Villa. There was no sanction then.

    OK, it was ill-advised as it will be seen as provoking the Arsenal supporters, but he was probably only repaying a part of the abuse they had heaped on him and all he was saying by it was "look what you have made me do, I've scored against you now". He has apologised too.

    Regarding the stamping, I haven't seen it (really) - if he did it deliberately he must be punished for it. But it seems that it is the goal celebration that has caused the fuss (in the media?) and for me it's not a big deal.

  • Comment number 61.

    Garth Crooks was commentating live on BBC 1 as Adebayor raced to the Arsenal fans, and to my utter amazement was an apologist for it !
    This man is a regular on Beeb football shows, and cannot see the responsibilities that players have in regard to inflaming fans or setting good examples. He obviously plays on being a maverick, but not condemning this act makes him look very ignorant.

  • Comment number 62.

    Adebayor's actions cannot be defended, and it's easy to pass them off as "unfortunate", but the stamp on RVP was very poor, and should have resulted in a red card for him. The celebration was also wrong, although you can in a way understand it if a player is receiving abuse and booing that, if he scores, he could possibly react towards the fans who're giving him stick.

    At the same time it's also unfair for people to criticize our away fans for giving him stick in the first place. A lot has happened over the last year with regards to Adebayor, especially the confusion surrounding him last summer, and then that interview in a newspaper recently where he criticized the Arsenal fans, so it's not unsurprising that Adebayor was on the end of some booing. Of course, if the so called "elephant" chant was sung, that's completely unacceptable and definitely hypocritical from the fans who did sing it, so I'll apologize for that if that, or any other objectionable songs, were sung.

    With regards to the match, City definitely played well, and did the "ugly" side of the game well by closing down and showing great hunger. They've certainly made a point that they will be making a big effort to get at least a UCL place this season. However, it's no surprise that a lot of the media and opposition fans have latched onto this result and already boldly proclaiming that this proves that City will replace Arsenal in the top 4 and that this will be a fruitless season for Arsenal. We are only 4 games into the season, nothing is decided, so although many people would love Arsenal to drop out of the top 4, the season has only just begun and no conclusions or inferences can really be drawn.

    Soccer_UK, can you give some quotations that show that a City Stewart was knocked unconscious from a thrown object from the Arsenal fans? If that is the case that is really sad, and I apologize on behalf of Arsenal fans for that, and I'm sure the club will also issue an apology if they receive notification of the incident from City. However, you've just thrown this statement down without any evidence, which is a bit out of order, especially if you've got no evidence of such an event occurring

    You also say City "demolished" us. I believe this is a bit of an exaggeration to be honest, because if you look at the statistics, we had 19 shots compared to City's 10 and over 60 percent possession ( Of course, stats mean nothing at the end of the day, as City won the three points and we won 0, and as Arsene Wenger said, City were much more clinical in the decisive moments of the game, and so deserved their win. However, we were hardly demolished, and you could argue if Barry's blatant handball was given, and Adebayor sent off, the last 20 or so minutes could have played out differently. So it was not a demolition, although I'm not begrudging City their win, because they played well, and showed not only individualistic quality, but more importantly, a willingness to work for each other, which was impressive to see.

    Soccer UK, you also say we are perhaps the most expensive tickets in Europe. I don't know if this is fact, but even if it is, I'm not going to demand success and trophies. I feel sorry for fans not being able to afford the tickets and subsequently not being able to go to games, most definitely, but at least we are putting a price freeze for this season, unlike Glazer, who is still willing to increase ticket prices at United, despite widespread protestations.

  • Comment number 63.

    If a Man City steward was seriously hurt after Adebayor's taunting of Arsenal fans, would Garth Crooks still be saying he was right to celebrate in any way he likes?
    I guess he would say this is the responsibility of the fans and not Adebayor, but if you tease a cat with a twig and it scratches you, you don't blame the cat - it's what cats do...

  • Comment number 64.

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  • Comment number 65.

    I'm going to ignore the bits of this artical about Ade's "antics" as they can be interpreted either way, depending on which team the viewer supports and which camera angle (in the stamping case) you use.

    I will instead concentrate on Phils lack of knowing the cold, hard facts.

    City won this fixture against Arsenal last year 3-1. So Phil, what exactly have they demonstarted, that 100mil can buy you 1 more goal, but you conceed another? Great investment return!
    Likewise next week will prove nothing, City have been a bit of a bogey team for united the last few years, frequently doing the "double" over us. So what does a win next week prove? Nothing, it shows no progress at all as they are only matching what they did last year.

    The only way City can be judged is against where they failed last year, so we'll have to wait to winter and judge them on their away games, where last year not a single foreign player (and many of the "home grown" ones) looked like they wanted to play.

    City beating teams like Bolton, Blackburn, Tottenham, Everton etc away in Dec/Jan/Feb will be a much better yardstick of progress than 2 games against last years top for that they did well in last year!

    Of course meaningless comparisions are the forte of most media types, so we shouldn't really be surprised.

    Well done city, I hope Utd beat you next week, but I won't loose any sleep if we dont (and if we do loose you can gaurentee the media will say "without Ronaldo.....") As Utd have proved in almost every PL season, if you are in touch with the top at christmas, it is your winter form that wins the league, there is a long way to go till we can see what citys money has bought them, but I guess it's a bit too much to expect the media pundits who make money from reading the tea-leaves after every game to wait till then!

  • Comment number 66.

    I think you all need to step back and look at what Adebayor did. He spent three years at Arsenal. In his first season, he was the hero. He slacked off and the fans didn't appreciate that. Then, into his third year, he became lazier and the efforts just weren't there. So, what? That gives the Arsenal fans some sort of reason to boo him and tell him to get out of the club? Adebayor made the celebration as a statement. It wasn't just the fact that he had scored against Arsenal. In fact, I doubt the fact that it was Arsenal even mattered to him. He was clearly still angered by the way the fans had treated him last year with their booing and so on. Why should he not feel angered by that? He's only human. I'd have been just as angry. He was, in my mind, quite rightly telling the Arsenal fans that they were missing "out on this". He's got four goals in four games, every City fan loves him. He's by far out most liked player at the moment(or he's by far MY most favourite at the moment). He didn't have this at Arsenal. I find it more than understandable that he did what he did. The Arsenal fans treated him horribly. So why shouldn't he feel aggrieved?

    I'm in two minds about the "stamp". It looked as though his foot would have collided with his face anyway(although to a weaker extent).
    No doubt the FA will fine him and/or give him a one/two match ban.

  • Comment number 67.

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  • Comment number 68.

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  • Comment number 69.

    It seems as though Fans of Football are such spoilt brats, forever handing out the stick to players but can never have a little dose of their own medicine.

    The bully culture prevails

  • Comment number 70.

    Beyondthepale. I am guessing cockernee is some northern spelling for cockney. In which case what has that got to do with Arsenal? If confused, find out about what cockney actually means.

  • Comment number 71.

    Isn't it typical of Arsenal fans who on many occasions can "give it" yet when they are on the receiving end they cant take it. Probably the only bunch of fans who boo their own at home & away and don't forget how often they leave a match early when losing.

    A great 2nd half that showed great emotions in which Arsenal fans will come to regret their treatment of Adebayor when they see City pinch their 4th place spot because of his goals. Poetic Justice.

  • Comment number 72.

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  • Comment number 73.

    Speaking as an Arsenal fan - congratulations to Man City for a deserved victory. Keep that up and we could have a very exciting league this year.

    As for Adebayor, well, he couldn't have picked a better way to make sure that any 'injustice' he felt will continue to be felt.

  • Comment number 74.

    I've read some comments below that arsenal fans never appreciated adebayor, even in that season when he scored 30 goals.. lets put the record striaght, arsenal fans gave him heaps of praise that season, adebayor himself will admit that (and this was despite him missing many many sitters infront of goal)..

    But after the club picked him up from no where, to making him a premier league star, how did he repay the club?? by spending the whole summer flirting with AC milan and barcalona, trying to squeeze every penny he could out of arsenal, who as we know do have heavy financial burdens.. i'll always remember one famous quote of his: "if they expect me to replace henry, then they should pay me like henry".. despite holding the club to ransom the way he did, arsenal fans would have forgiven him if he had put in anywhere near as much effort as he did the season before.. instead he started coming out with more famous quotes "AC milan being interested in me is like beyonce being your girlfriend etc".. so in my view arsenal fans were fully justfied to give him stick, because his comments were a total disgrace and disrespectful for the club that made his name.. On top of this, he comes out and claims he is the innocent party, and its not his fault that other top clubs are after him.. well top clubs are always after our players, but do any of them come out and make the comments he does??

    Now city fans, lets remember that just a few months ago just before adebayor signed for you, he was desperately trying to move elsewhere, man utd, chelsea.. the fact is he didnt want to come to city. The amount you offered him in wages was obviously the decisive factor.. yes, he has put in some good performances, but this is at a time when the going is good for him.. lets just wait till things start going against him then we will really see what his true character will be..

    and the game yesterday just summed up the ugly side of his game.. the stamp on van persie was just a complete disgrace, and his reaction after scoring was just plain stupid.. but I hope it makes city fans that he doesnt really care about the club (just like he didnt care about arsenal) he is just plain selfish and the only thing on his agenda is himself.

  • Comment number 75.

    brilliant blue4ade

    only read your post now and I am not a Man City fan but truly like the quality football Arsenal can deliver. Unfortunately Ade will be punished for what looked like a stamp and he only has himself to blame for that.

    Won't be putting him into my fantasy team now ;-)

    As for RvP he has always been petulant, never understand how Wenger copes with him :o)

  • Comment number 76.

    Ban him!The F.A. should ban him, but for a significantly lengthy period of time for bringing the game into disrepute. This to discourage other players from this needless, gormless behaviour. I'm not sure where Adebayor stands in relation to his nation's qualification for the World Cup, but if he does play in South Africa he can be assured of a hot reception from Arsenal fans here

  • Comment number 77.

    The referee dealt with the stupid Goal scoring celebration by issuing a yellow card, I therefore suggest that under FA rules this matter is closed.

    The Stamping is a far more serious matter and his abject apology and a claim to be kicking the ball , a ball that was already 2+ meters away and still moving is woeful and pityful.
    Man City should fine him the maximum and suspend him for 3 matches NOW, this would be a real act of contrition and show how they as a club will not tolerate such actions form their players.(there is a precedent for this both at City and other clubs).

    The FA will I suspect impose a 3-5 match ban for this incident.

    There is also the matter of the fans reaction to his goal celebration, it was unacceptable and inexcusable, If GROWN men cant restrain themselves and and control their urge to throw things ie chairs and seats, then they have NO place in Football.

    For all the moaning and screaming from a section of the Arsenal fans I hope there is a desire to root out the mindless idiots who reacted so poorly and have them banned from traveling with and acting as so called supporters of YOUR team.

    If you want Justice, then clean house, there was and can be no excuse for the violent mindless idiotic reaction of the so called fans yesterday.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.

    My first experience at being referred to the moderators, and I can see why people moan about it. I'm sure i did not say anything offensive at all.

    All i said was: Phil, in doing this blog, you are part of the problem that you blog about, promoting the so-called overshadowing of the game, rather than the solution. You could have simply done a match report on what was a fantastic game.

    Rather hypocritical

  • Comment number 84.

    If there was racist chanting, it is completely unacceptable and if fans are found guilty, they should be banned, without doubt. However, I hate the hypocricy of some of the fans on this blog who, over the last two seasons, weren't exactly sympathetic to Campbell when he received those chants against Tottenham. In fact, I remember a lot of fans finding the "elephants" chant received by Adebayor against Spurs two seasons ago hilarious, and saying those complaining about it was "PC gone mad". Suddenly, they realize that it is in fact racist, only because a section of Arsenal fans have apparently engaged in it. It really is pathetic to be honest.

    I don't know exactly how many Arsenal fans yesterday were making inappropriate chants, or threw things on the pitch, but unsurprisingly there's a lot of generalizations going on, with people referring to the Arsenal fans as "savages" or "animals", despite 1/ We're not sure how many Arsenal fans were guilty of bad behaviour and 2/ A lot of fans are jumping on the bandwagon and just repeating with other posters are saying, seeing it as a good opportunity for Arsenal bashing. This is not to condone throwing things onto the pitch or racist chanting, of course not, both are completely unacceptable, but it's typical herd behaviour that everyone else is just repeating the accusations without really backing it up.

    Then you get people like BeyondThePale, insinuating that London fans need looking at, because all the recent trouble seems to be coming from them. I'm sorry, but this sort of comment is not on. The Millwall West Ham incident was terrible, but again, stop generalizing the whole of the London fanbase based on that incident, and then for the apparent actions of some Arsenal away fans. I despise the arrogance of some Londoners, but at the same time, you're a few to make crude assertions about the fans of a whole City. In fact, you're also insinuating that perhaps police should be looking more at London fans when it comes to football hooliganism, which is ridiculous.

  • Comment number 85.

    Why is there no talk about RVP's celebration? His words were distasteful. Persie's adamant behaviour after the apology just makes one think it's a matter of sour grapes. No action should be taken concerning the celebration cuz the ref did something about it and the player immediately apologize. The football governing bodies are opening can of worms with some of the actions they are taking. Next thing we know goals disputes will be next on the agenda. Arsenal are miles behind City and Wenger needs to get rid of their conservative recruitment system.

  • Comment number 86.

    I was at the game yesterday and what an exciting one it was too. However did anyone else see RVP run accross to the City fans after his goal making gestures and screaming F-off? is that not incitement? after all he does it most times he scores...

  • Comment number 87.

    I was at the game but didn't see his celebration (no honestly Arsene!) I was at the end where he scored and we were all jumping around going mad! - as he was also in the heat of the moment.
    Adebayor's apology was from the heart and spoken as he felt - you describe it as a "bit lame".
    However in contrast you describe Van Persie's written statement as being "unerringly on target with his savage public attack" - which was obviously scripted by Arsenals PR machine.
    City are putting some emotion back into the sterile Premier league, maybe we overstepped the mark, but the man has apologised. Leave it at that instead of trying to take the moral high ground. Arsenal are not exactly synonymous with fair play are they?!

  • Comment number 88.

    Adebayor was booked for his celebration so if the FA stick by the policy they apply to top 4 teams he will only get a fine for that. Lets hope its a big one because that was out of order - even if he did, (rightly)appologise.
    As to the 'Stamp' well sory I don't think theres much of a charge to answer. VP sythed through him with a two footed lunge that should have got a red card. The view shown on MOTD makes it look awfull with Ade then stamping down on VP. But other angles show the contact with with VP's face occured as he slid through underneath Ade's studs at which point Ade looks down and stamps his foot down on green grass to make sure he doesn't make anymore contact with VP's head. I bet the FA don't see it that way though...

  • Comment number 89.

    If he had respect for the Arsenal fans and his former club he wouldn't run the mile and celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans. That's provoking the opponant, not respecting.

  • Comment number 90.

    It's also quite funny that people are so delighted that City are apparently going to overtake Arsenal in the top four, dubbed sarcastically the "Sky4". I fully understand that the monotony of the same top 4 has become boring, and a lot of fans see money as the main reason why these 4 teams maintain the status quo. I accept that, and I don't find all the money in the game appetizing at all.

    However, the hypocrisy of some fans has been highlighted by them casting City as the good guys and Arsenal as the bad guys. Have people forgotten that City are owned by an oil Sheik, and City, until backed by wealthy investors, weren't really showing themselves to be capable of breaking into the top 4.

    So, all I'm saying is that, although I can understand fans want the monotony of the "Sky4" being broken, they should see that the club looking to break into it will have done so with the benefits of turbo charged capitalism. It's funny that fans seem to want us to lose our top 4 place, when we've spent the least of the other top 3 sides, didn't receive "get rich quick" scheme from a rich Arab/American, and actually are endeavoring to maintain a sustainable model. So, if people want to see the defeat of capitalism (I certainly can see why they would), then maybe backing City to break into the top 4 is not exactly logical.

  • Comment number 91.

    "Manchester City deserved to claim all the attention and plaudits without distraction after providing enthralling evidence they may challenge the top four this season. It is Adebayor's fault they will not get it."

    No, it's yours.

  • Comment number 92.

    OK, let me get this straight. When Van Persie lunges at Adebayor and Adebayor reacts by kicking out at him, that's entirely Adebayor's fault? Then, when Adebayor runs to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans and the fans react by throwing things at him, that's also entirely Adebayor's fault? I'm not trying to justify Adebayor's actions (the kick at Van Persie in particular was disgraceful and retrospective action would probably be justified), but Van Persie and the Arsenal fans also have to accept part of the responsibility.

  • Comment number 93.

    As if Emmanuel Adebayor, just because he earns more in a week what most people earn in a year, is immune to or somehow shouldn't respond in kind to the taunts of the Arsenal fans. The average footballer has a very good footballing brain but, his job done in sticking the ball in the back of the net, becomes just like the average fan: if he gets stick, he'll give it back. Incitement? Quite possibly. But on whose part? Arsenal fans have absolutely no room for complaint. If they can't take it, they shouldn't dish it out. Too often the spectators' behaviour is overlooked simply because it is impractical to pick out individuals from a crowd. But if we're going to look at anyone's behaviour we should look at everyone's behaviour.

  • Comment number 94.

    Surely the fans over-reaction is much worse than adebayor's stupidity? Why oh why, do we always stick up for these idiots that populate our national game like a cancer? As a west ham fan i've learnt a bit about this subject lately.

    The thing that always amazes me is that the players should always show respect, class etc but then certain sections of "fans" are allowed to act like animals at all times. Would Mr McNulty or any of his colleagues start throwing objects around because a football player celebrated in front of them? I feel a sense of rationality is lost here. The fans do not behave in a correct way. By all means have a shout and a swear at him, Adebayor seems like a bit of an idiot and he did provocate, but why resort to physical attacks and then condone them for reasons of footballing politics. This is why the circle of violence at football matches never gets broken.

  • Comment number 95.

    Even Adebayor's 'apology' reeked of arrogance. He said 'I feel sorry for the fans' as opposed to 'I am completely to blame for my despicable and provocative actions during the match'. It's the equivalent of someone apologising to you by saying 'well I'm sorry you're upset'. Just becuase there's the word 'sorry' mentioned it doesn't mean it's an apology and it certainly doesn't mean it's sincere.

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 97.

    "His goal celebration however, despite the foolishness of doing it was fully justified IMO, Arsenal fans have never sang the praises of Ade (even 2 seasons ago when he was on fire) and City seems to be a place where he is getting the financial and emotional support that a player like him needs, and all of us with human emotions inside us have had the desire to rub something into the face of people who have doubted us or insulted us.

    Oh and i spose youre a regular at our place are you. You have no idea what you are talking about. When Ade was scoring and giving effort he go nothing but praise from the fans. He said so himself on a few occasions. Adebayor was the name sung more than any other, most of the time throughout the game. Whenever he put in effort last season he got cheered but for the most part he spent his time sulking because Barca didnt take up his offer to go join them. People turned on him because he kept banging on about how he wanted to move to abigger club in the hope hed have his wages doubled to keep him. It backfired so tough. Hell do exactly the same to you when he has a good season and a top club takes a look.

    And financial needs!? Who needs 100k a week as opposed to 50k?

    You havent got a clue about our club so keep your factless comments to yourself and good luck with your band of merry mercenaries

  • Comment number 98.

    Will Adebayor receive punishment from the FA now after the match? I doubt it, that level of consistency would surely boggle the mind. Adebayor has shown that he is a shameless mercenary footballer with no scruples (stamping on an old team-mate?) and eventually he will show his true colours at Manchester City when he becomes bored as well I am sure. Move over Ashley Cole, the Arsenal fans have a new public enemy number one. I look forward to the game at the Emirates.

  • Comment number 99.


    Actually we beat them 3-0 and Yes, we were dominant, but we were incredibly lucky in the build-up to that match. Arsenal had just lost their last two games including a horrible 2-0 home loss to Champion's League qualifier opponents, Villa. Gallas was dropped because of attitude and half of Arsenal's decent players were injured.

    This win was more impressive due to the outstanding form Arsenal were in and the return of key players from injury. e.g. Fabregas, Rosicky ect.

  • Comment number 100.

    Disgraceful! Can't the Kenyon's, Wenger's, Hughes's and Ferguson's of this world see how their petulance and inability to accept any decision or ban against them is affecting the game. Let's face it if managers had a zero tolerance penalty for diving, cheating and general bad behaviour then it wouldn't be happening.

    Adebayor's actions should be roundly condemned by every lover of the game whoever they support. Inciting the crowd in such and obvious and hostile manner is beyond reckless, it's positively dangerous. Football violence is a very real issue again and actions like yesterdays provoke it.

    As for anyone who regards it as acceptable or 'no big deal'. If you were in the away end with your 10 yr old son and it kicked off like that maybe you'd change your opinion. Only the most limited intellect could produce or condone such behaviour but it seems there are plenty of those around.


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