Arsenal crush struggling Derby

Arsenal crush struggling Derby

LONDON – Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored his first hat-trick in English football on Saturday and proved he is ready to replace former captain Thierry Henry as the attacking talisman of a vibrant Arsenal team.

Arsenal consolidated their position on top of the Premier League with a 5-0 victory over struggling Derby County, leaving most observers satisfied that the team no longer misses Henry, who left the club to join Barcelona. French defender Abou Diaby opened the scoring for Arsenal with a powerful diagonal right-foot shot from 25 metres after only 10 minutes and from then on it was one-way traffic.Adebayor ran on to a pass from Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas to score his first goal 15 minutes later and added his second from the spot after Eduardo was fouled by Matt Oakley.Fabregas scored Arsenal’s fourth with a swerving long-range shot before Adebayor competed his treble 10 minutes from time.Manchester City, under the guidance of former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, fell behind at Craven Cottage to a 13th minute header from Welsh midfielder Simon Davies, but powered back with two goals from Bulgarian midfielder Martin Petrov and one from French striker Emile Mpenza.Algerian midfielder Hameur Bouazza had fired Fulham 2-1 ahead, but they needed a goal from substitute Danny Murphy after 75 minutes to salvage a point.Liverpool were held to a 0-0 home draw by promoted Birmingham City and despite long spells of possession rarely threatened to score.”It was very disappointing,” Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez told reporters.”When you have that much possession and chances, you need to score, but sometimes it can be very difficult against such well-organised teams.”In the remaining fixtures, Reading beat fellow-strugglers Wigan Athletic 2-1 thanks to a late goal from James Harper, following a cute reverse pass by Dave Kitson.Kitson had put Reading ahead in the first half before Marcus Bent, who also hit the bar, equalised with a header from a fine cross by Jason Koumas.Sunderland earned a point from a closely fought north-east derby clash at Middlesbrough where substitute Liam Miller scored with an 89th minute left-foot half-volley to level the scores.In former Manchester United captain Roy Keane’s 50th game as manager, Sunderland took the lead after two minutes through Grant Leadbitter.Former Sunderland striker Argentine Julio Arca headed a 15th minute equaliser and England winger Stewart Downing fired the home team ahead with a powerful drive after 67 minutes before Miller’s late point-saver.Defending champions Manchester United were set to meet Chelsea late yesterday, minus Jose Mourinho who has been replaced as manager by the little-known Israeli Avram Grant.Nampa-ReutersFrench defender Abou Diaby opened the scoring for Arsenal with a powerful diagonal right-foot shot from 25 metres after only 10 minutes and from then on it was one-way traffic.Adebayor ran on to a pass from Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas to score his first goal 15 minutes later and added his second from the spot after Eduardo was fouled by Matt Oakley.Fabregas scored Arsenal’s fourth with a swerving long-range shot before Adebayor competed his treble 10 minutes from time.Manchester City, under the guidance of former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, fell behind at Craven Cottage to a 13th minute header from Welsh midfielder Simon Davies, but powered back with two goals from Bulgarian midfielder Martin Petrov and one from French striker Emile Mpenza.Algerian midfielder Hameur Bouazza had fired Fulham 2-1 ahead, but they needed a goal from substitute Danny Murphy after 75 minutes to salvage a point.Liverpool were held to a 0-0 home draw by promoted Birmingham City and despite long spells of possession rarely threatened to score.”It was very disappointing,” Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez told reporters.”When you have that much possession and chances, you need to score, but sometimes it can be very difficult against such well-organised teams.”In the remaining fixtures, Reading beat fellow-strugglers Wigan Athletic 2-1 thanks to a late goal from James Harper, following a cute reverse pass by Dave Kitson.Kitson had put Reading ahead in the first half before Marcus Bent, who also hit the bar, equalised with a header from a fine cross by Jason Koumas.Sunderland earned a point from a closely fought north-east derby clash at Middlesbrough where substitute Liam Miller scored with an 89th minute left-foot half-volley to level the scores.In former Manchester United captain Roy Keane’s 50th game as manager, Sunderland took the lead after two minutes through Grant Leadbitter.Former Sunderland striker Argentine Julio Arca headed a 15th minute equaliser and England winger Stewart Downing fired the home team ahead with a powerful drive after 67 minutes before Miller’s late point-saver.Defending champions Manchester United were set to meet Chelsea late yesterday, minus Jose Mourinho who has been replaced as manager by the little-known Israeli Avram Grant.Nampa-Reuters

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