Adebayor nets hat-trick as Arsenal thrash Derby

April 29th, 2008 - 12:41 pm ICT by admin  

London, April 29 (DPA) Emmanuel Adebayor came off the substitutes’ bench to score a second-half hat-trick as Arsenal won 6-2 against bottom side Derby County, ensuring they will finish no lower than third in the English Premier League. Goals from Nicklas Bendtner and Robin van Persie had put Arsenal up 2-1 at halftime Monday night, but Adebayor replaced the Dutchman at the break and slammed in three goals as Arsenal cruised to victory over a hapless Derby.

Arsenal now have 77 points, four behind Manchester United and Arsenal, and while mathematically they could still win the league, their seven-point lead over Liverpool with two games remaining at least means Arsenal cannot be overtaken for third place.

With Derby already relegated, the match always looked likely to go Arsenal’s way, and Bendtner turned in van Persie’s cross to put them ahead on 25 minutes.

Against the odds, though, James McEveley levelled for Derby four minutes later, much to Arsenal’s disgust.

Normal service was resumed when van Persie found the net from just over 10 yards with seven minutes to go before halftime. That was his last effort of note, though, as Adebayor replaced him for the second half.

The Togo striker side-footed Emmanuel Eboue’s pass home for the third on 58 minutes, but for the second time on the night, Derby had the temerity to score, this time with Robert Earnshaw getting his name on the scoresheet.

With 15 minutes to go, Derby sensed the chance of a result, but one minute later Theo Walcott dashed their hopes with the fourth goal before Adebayor made it 5-2 on 80 minutes.

As the seconds ticked down, Adebayor fed off Cesc Fabregas’s pass and completed his hat-trick to give Arsene Wenger’s side a deserved margin of victory.

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