Adebayor ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of Arsenal's fans
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Eastlands
Emmanuel Adebayor silenced the taunts of Arsenal fans as he inspired Manchester City to a fourth successive Premier League victory - but sparked fury among his former supporters inside Eastlands with a provocative solo goal celebration.
Adebayor caused chaotic scenes in the Arsenal section of support when he raced the length of the pitch to slide on his knees in front of the visiting fans after heading City's crucial third goal to wrap up the win.
The former Arsenal striker, who completed an acrimonious £25.5m move from the Emirates before the start of the season, was booked by referee Mark Clattenburg and may not have heard the last of an ill-judged reaction after the situation in the crowd briefly threatened to boil over.
Adebayor also appeared to kick out at Robin van Persie during an eventful second-half and his antics took some of the gloss off a City performance that demonstrated there is genuine substance to the expensive refit of their squad under manager Mark Hughes.
City took the lead after 20 minutes when Micah Richards' header went in via a deflection by Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia off an upright.
Van Persie put Arsenal back in contention with a low finish just after the hour - but City then struck three times in 10 minutes to add to the growing belief inside Eastlands that they can mount a serious challenge to the top four this season.
Craig Bellamy turned Richards' cross past Almunia before Adebayor showed the more acceptable face of his character with a towering header from Shaun Wright-Phillips' cross.
Eastlands was in pandemonium when Wright-Phillips turned home City's fourth, and Tomas Rosicky's late goal mattered little as Arsenal collapsed in alarming fashion.
If City and boss Hughes were looking for an accurate measure of their prospects this season, then this deserved win will send optimism coursing through Eastlands.
City showed attacking verve, especially in the shape of Adebayor and Bellamy - even with Carlos Tevez injured and Robinho sidelined for up to a month with a stress fracture just above his ankle - but perhaps more importantly showed the character to dig their way out of adversity when Arsenal threatened to take control.
And with a Manchester derby looming at Old Trafford next Sunday, City will travel to face their arch-rivals in great heart.
Adebayor received a predictably hostile reception from Arsenal's travelling support - and his former team-mates looked in the mood to make him regret what he had left behind in the opening exchanges.
Manchester City, with £24m new boy Joleon Lescott taking time to settle on his home debut and earning a yellow card for a foul on Van Persie, struggled to establish any control and should have fallen behind when the unmarked William Gallas headed over from Cesc Fabregas' corner.
The complexion of the game altered when City took the lead in fortuitous circumstances after 20 minutes. Richards did well to rise and head powerfully towards goal, but the final touch came off unfortunate Arsenal keeper Alumnia, who turned his effort on to an upright but then saw it bounce back in off his head.
Arsenal's early superiority evaporated in the face of that setback and City were able to exert a measure of superiority without putting the Gunners' defence under serious pressure.
Boss Arsene Wenger wasted no time in making a change after the interval, waiting only seven minutes before replacing Denilson with Rosicky after the injury-plagued star played his first competitive match for 20 months in the Czech Republic's 7-0 win against San Marino in midweek.
The effect was almost instant - even though Rosicky was not involved. Gallas again met a corner, this time from Van Persie, but City keeper Shay Given made a vital block and Nicklas Bendtner shot the rebound wildly across the face of goal.
Arsenal were turning up the tempo and playing on City's inability to keep possession, with Given forced to excel again from Thomas Vermaelen's shot.
The pressure looked certain to pay, and so it proved after 62 minutes when Van Persie's low shot flew just beyond the reach of Given and into the bottom corner.
City showed great strength of character to regain their composure, and the lead, with 16 minutes left as Bellamy swept a finish high past Almunia.
The moment Adebayor craved arrived after 80 minutes - but it was a moment of joy the striker marred with a celebration that was both foolish and highly-provocative.
He rose magnificently to head his fourth goal in successive league games past Almunia, but then sprinted the length of the field, unaccompanied by his team mates, to slide on his knees in front of enraged Arsenal fans.
It was an act that caused chaos in the Arsenal section of Eastlands as order was eventually restored - but Adebayor was rightly shown the yellow card by referee Mark Clattenburg.
Arsenal's misery deepened four minutes later when Wright-Phillips rounded off more good work from the tireless Bellamy, and Rosicky's late goal was of no consolation.
City's fans celebrated wildly and deservedly at the final whistle, but it will be the celebration of Adebayor that will also claim unwanted headlines.
90:00+4:17 The referee brings the game to a close.
90:00+3:00 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, clearance made by Joleon Lescott.
90:00+2:25 Free kick taken by Tomas Rosicky.
90:00+2:25 Booking The referee cautions Nigel De Jong for unsporting behaviour.
90:00+2:09 Nigel De Jong gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tomas Rosicky.
90:00+1:23 Unfair challenge on Francesc Fabregas by Emmanuel Adebayor results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
90:00+0:40 Outswinging corner taken by Francesc Fabregas, Shot from deep inside the area by Nicklas Bendtner clears the crossbar.
90:00+0:24 Robin van Persie takes a shot. Blocked by Joleon Lescott.
89:39 Emmanuel Eboue has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.
89:19 Gael Clichy crosses the ball, clearance by Kolo Toure.
88:53 Robin van Persie takes a shot from a just insdie the box and hits the post.
88:16 Martin Petrov produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.
87:26 Assist on the goal came from Francesc Fabregas.
87:26 GOAL - Tomas Rosicky:Man City 4 - 2 Arsenal Tomas Rosicky scores a goal from deep inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man City 4-2 Arsenal.
86:02 Da Silva Eduardo takes a shot. Save by Shay Given.
84:01 Effort from inside the area by Robin van Persie misses to the right of the goal.
83:21 Craig Bellamy provided the assist for the goal.
83:21 GOAL - Shaun Wright-Phillips:Man City 4 - 1 Arsenal Shaun Wright-Phillips fires in a goal from inside the box low into the middle of the goal. Man City 4-1 Arsenal.
82:35 Corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie from the left by-line, clearance made by Joleon Lescott.
82:01 Vassiriki Diaby takes a shot. Blocked by Emmanuel Adebayor.
81:27 Corner from the right by-line taken by Robin van Persie, Joleon Lescott manages to make a clearance.
81:01 Booking Emmanuel Adebayor is booked.
79:52 Shaun Wright-Phillips produces a cross,
79:51 Assist by Shaun Wright-Phillips.
79:51 GOAL - Emmanuel Adebayor:Man City 3 - 1 Arsenal Emmanuel Adebayor finds the net with a headed goal from close range. Man City 3-1 Arsenal.
78:41 Corner taken by Martin Petrov, clearance by Robin van Persie.
78:03 William Gallas has an effort at goal from long range that misses to the right of the target.
77:28 The ball is sent over by Emmanuel Adebayor, Close range effort by Shaun Wright-Phillips goes wide of the left-hand upright.
76:38 Substitution Emmanuel Eboue comes on in place of Bacary Sagna.
76:38 Substitution Da Silva Eduardo is brought on as a substitute for Alexandre Song Billong.
73:42 Micah Richards sends in a cross,
73:41 Micah Richards provided the assist for the goal.
73:41 GOAL - Craig Bellamy:Man City 2 - 1 Arsenal Craig Bellamy grabs a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Man City 2-1 Arsenal.
72:59 Gareth Barry crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, clearance made by Thomas Vermaelen.
72:59 Booking Alexandre Song Billong booked.
72:30 Substitution Martin Petrov comes on in place of Stephen Ireland.
72:30 Alexandre Song Billong concedes a free kick for a foul on Emmanuel Adebayor.
70:24 Thomas Vermaelen is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Shay Given takes the free kick.
69:58 Centre by Robin van Persie, clearance by Kolo Toure.
69:34 Robin van Persie takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance by Emmanuel Adebayor.
69:20 Nicklas Bendtner takes a shot. Blocked by Joleon Lescott.
67:54 Unfair challenge on William Gallas by Emmanuel Adebayor results in a free kick. William Gallas restarts play with the free
66:17 Centre by Gael Clichy, Shay Given makes a save.
65:53 The ball is sent over by Gael Clichy, clearance made by Joleon Lescott.
64:33 Unfair challenge on Shaun Wright-Phillips by Robin van Persie results in a free kick. Craig Bellamy crosses the ball in from
the free kick, clearance by Gael Clichy.
63:56 Corner taken left-footed by Gareth Barry, clearance made by Nicklas Bendtner.
63:48 The ball is sent over by Micah Richards, Vassiriki Diaby gets a block in.
61:59 Assist by Tomas Rosicky.
61:59 GOAL - Robin van Persie:Man City 1 - 1 Arsenal Robin van Persie finds the back of the net with a goal from just outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man
City 1-1 Arsenal.
61:04 Craig Bellamy takes a shot. Manuel Almunia makes a save.
59:54 Craig Bellamy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Francesc Fabregas. The free kick is swung in left-footed by
Robin van Persie, Gareth Barry manages to make a clearance.
59:31 Corner from the right by-line taken by Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor manages to make a clearance.
59:09 Thomas Vermaelen takes a shot. Save by Shay Given.
56:47 Shot by Nicklas Bendtner from deep inside the six-yard box clear the bar.
56:05 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie from the right by-line to the near post, William Gallas takes a shot.
Save by Shay Given.
55:55 Bacary Sagna delivers the ball, Wayne Bridge gets a block in.
53:35 A cross is delivered by Francesc Fabregas.
53:13 Robin van Persie decides to take the corner short.
52:47 Shot by Tomas Rosicky. Blocked by Stephen Ireland.
52:42 The ball is sent over by Francesc Fabregas, Joleon Lescott makes a clearance.
52:33 Nicklas Bendtner sends in a cross, clearance made by Joleon Lescott.
51:56 Francesc Fabregas takes the inswinging corner, Emmanuel Adebayor manages to make a clearance.
51:56 Substitution Neves Denilson goes off and Tomas Rosicky comes on.
49:29 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gareth Barry by Francesc Fabregas. Free kick crossed by Gareth Barry.
49:18 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Micah Richards by Vassiriki Diaby. Direct free kick taken by Nigel De Jong.
47:53 Micah Richards gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Vassiriki Diaby. The ball is crossed by Francesc Fabregas,
Header from deep inside the area by Thomas Vermaelen goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
47:05 Emmanuel Adebayor takes a shot. William Gallas gets a block in.
45:58 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Shaun Wright-Phillips by Neves Denilson. Micah Richards takes the direct free
45:26 Foul by Emmanuel Adebayor on Alexandre Song Billong, free kick awarded. Manuel Almunia restarts play with the free kick.
45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
45:00+3:06 It is the end of the first-half.
45:00+2:49 Shaun Wright-Phillips has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the target.
45:00+2:10 Alexandre Song Billong fouled by Gareth Barry, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Neves Denilson.
45:00+1:25 Corner taken by Francesc Fabregas played to the near post, clearance made by Emmanuel Adebayor.
45:00+0:50 Corner from the right by-line taken by Robin van Persie, Micah Richards makes a clearance.
45:00+0:42 Robin van Persie delivers the ball, clearance by Wayne Bridge.
45:00+0:20 The assistant referee signals for offside against Stephen Ireland. Free kick taken by Manuel Almunia.
44:41 Bacary Sagna produces a cross, Shay Given makes a save.
43:52 Centre by Vassiriki Diaby, Gareth Barry makes a clearance.
41:13 Bacary Sagna crosses the ball, Shay Given makes a save.
40:44 Bacary Sagna sends in a cross.
39:49 Vassiriki Diaby concedes a free kick for a foul on Micah Richards. Kolo Toure takes the direct free kick.
38:51 Foul by Micah Richards on Neves Denilson, free kick awarded. Gael Clichy restarts play with the free kick.
37:58 Free kick awarded for a foul by Wayne Bridge on Bacary Sagna. Francesc Fabregas restarts play with the free kick.
37:30 Vassiriki Diaby challenges Wayne Bridge unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Nigel De Jong.
36:38 Effort from outside the penalty box by Francesc Fabregas goes wide right of the goal.
36:09 The assistant referee signals for offside against Emmanuel Adebayor. Indirect free kick taken by Manuel Almunia.
35:10 The ball is sent over by Craig Bellamy.
34:56 Bacary Sagna produces a cross, clearance by Kolo Toure.
32:17 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Gareth Barry, save by Manuel Almunia.
31:55 Craig Bellamy takes a shot. Blocked by Bacary Sagna.
31:28 Neves Denilson challenges Nigel De Jong unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Gareth
Barry, clearance by Nicklas Bendtner.
29:24 The assistant referee signals for offside against Robin van Persie. Shay Given takes the indirect free kick.
27:23 The ball is crossed by Nicklas Bendtner, save by Shay Given.
27:04 Shaun Wright-Phillips delivers the ball, save by Manuel Almunia.
25:50 Free kick awarded for a foul by William Gallas on Joleon Lescott. Shay Given restarts play with the free kick.
Correction - 19:04 Assist by Micah Richards.
19:04 The assist for the goal came from Micah Richards.
19:04 GOAL - Manuel Almunia:Man City 1 - 0 Arsenal Manuel Almunia heads into his own net. Man City 1-0 Arsenal.
Correction - 18:35 The ball is delivered by Gareth Barry, Header by Micah Richards from inside the area strikes the post.
18:35 Gareth Barry crosses the ball, Headed effort from inside the area by Micah Richards strikes the post.
18:35 Booking Bacary Sagna is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
Correction - 18:25 Foul by Bacary Sagna on Craig Bellamy, free kick awarded.
18:25 Bacary Sagna concedes a free kick for a foul on Craig Bellamy.
17:33 The referee gives a free kick against Emmanuel Adebayor for handball. Manuel Almunia takes the free kick.
16:37 Gareth Barry challenges Francesc Fabregas unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
16:00 Effort on goal by Bacary Sagna from just inside the area clears the bar.
14:53 Free kick awarded for a foul by Robin van Persie on Shaun Wright-Phillips. Free kick taken by Shay Given.
14:32 Francesc Fabregas produces a cross, clearance by Joleon Lescott.
13:47 The free kick is swung in right-footed by Francesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor makes a clearance.
13:47 Booking Joleon Lescott is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
13:38 Joleon Lescott challenges Neves Denilson unfairly and gives away a free kick.
12:35 Corner taken by Robin van Persie, Close range header by William Gallas goes over the crossbar.
12:27 Nicklas Bendtner crosses the ball, blocked by Wayne Bridge.
10:54 Emmanuel Adebayor challenges Francesc Fabregas unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Bacary Sagna.
6:32 A cross is delivered by Shaun Wright-Phillips, blocked by Gael Clichy.
3:18 Francesc Fabregas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nigel De Jong. Joleon Lescott takes the direct free kick.
1:55 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Robin van Persie by Micah Richards. Francesc Fabregas crosses the ball from the
free kick right-footed from left wing, clearance by Emmanuel Adebayor.
0:48 The ball is swung over by Gael Clichy, clearance by Joleon Lescott.
0:00 The referee starts the match.
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