Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal  5 - 1


Warring Gunners escape sanction over flare-up

24 January 2008 20:13

LONDON (AFP) - Arsenal strikers Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner have escaped sanction from the Football Association over a clash during their club's 5-1 League Cup semi-final defeat at Tottenham on Tuesday.

The confrontation resulted in Bendtner being left nursing a bruised and bleeding nose amid suggestions he had been head-butted by his team-mate.

Adebayor subsequently apologised and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who refused to comment on the clash after the game, has cancelled his normal Friday press conference, apparently to avoid interrogation over the incident.

Arsenal would have been further embarrassed had the FA decided to press charges against the players for bringing the game into disrepute, but the governing body confirmed Thursday that it would only be writing to the players reminding them of their responsibilities in that regard.


Adebayor sorry for Bendtner bust-up

23 January 2008 20:23

LONDON (AFP) - Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor has apologised for a clash with team-mate Nicklas Bendtner that left the young forward with a bruised nose at the end of the club's 5-1 League Cup humiliation at the hands of Tottenham.

Bendtner appeared to indicate that he had been head-butted by Adebayor towards the end of the semi-final second leg, and the Togo striker was contrite about his actions.

"I think that we should have been more calm during the game and although I was pleased to get a goal back for the team when I came on, I am sorry for the disagreement with my team-mate Nicklas," Adebayor said Wednesday.

"We are both passionate about this club and sometimes that can be projected in the wrong way. It was a mistake. We want to focus on the games ahead and rely on our squad's great togetherness to achieve a fantastic season."

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger could have done without the distraction of an intra-team flare-up after a night in which his young line-up was taken apart by the quality of Tottenham's counter attacking.

But club captain William Gallas insisted that the experience gained from such setbacks could prove valuable in the future.

"All the young boys wanted to go to Wembley and I know it is difficult to accept," Gallas said. "Now we have to be strong and forget everything because on Saturday we have another big game which will not be easy."

Arsenal face Newcastle in an FA Cup fourth round tie at the Emirates stadium on Saturday.

The Football Association has asked to see television footage of the clash between Adebayor and Bendtner to assess whether any disciplinary charges should be levelled against either player.


FA to probe Abedayor clash with teammate Bendtner

23 January 2008 16:23

LONDON (AFP) - The Football Association will look into a clash between Arsenal team-mates Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner at the end of their team's 5-1 trouncing by Tottenham in the League Cup.

The FA, English football's governing body, has requested television footage of Tuesday's altercation after referee Howard Webb confirmed he had not seen the entire incident.

During the closing stages at White Hart Lane, with the tie already lost, Nicklas Bendtner - who had earlier scored an own goal - became involved in an altercation with team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor, and appeared to complain of being headbutted by the Togo international.

Arsenal captain William Gallas stepped in to try to calm matters down, before then himself being confronted by the angry young Danish striker. Eventually, referee Webb had to intervene to restore order.

As Webb revealed he did not witness the events in their entirety, the FA have now asked broadcasters to provide any relevant television footage.

Once that is obtained, any incidents will be shown to Webb for his opinion.

Should the referee indicate action would have been taken on the night had he witnessed it first hand, such as a red card for violent conduct, the FA can then retrospectively issue charges against any individuals.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintained he was not aware of the incident, while captain Gallas refused to single out anyone for blame.

The France defender said: "I don't know what happened. I think everybody was disappointed with the score and they were nervous.

"They know they made a mistake. Maybe they will speak with the boss to see why they did that."

Gallas added: "We lost our calm. Sometimes it is difficult to be calm and it is not easy for some players to be calm. We were too nervous. We have to learn."

Abdebayor has apologised for his part in the clash, explaining that the heat of the moment got the better of the duo.

"We are a strong unit and what happened against Spurs will strengthen our desire and determination to compete for other targets," he told the club's official website.

"Overall I think that we should have been more calm during the game and although I was pleased to get a goal back for the team when I came on, I am sorry for the disagreement with my teammate Nicklas.

"We are both passionate about this club and sometimes that can be projected in the wrong way. It was a mistake. We want to focus on the games ahead and rely on our squad's great togetherness to achieve a fantastic season."


Spurs destroy Arsenal to reach League Cup final

22 January 2008 23:23

LONDON (AFP) - Juande Ramos could have been forgiven for basking in the spotlight after Tottenham routed Arsenal to reach the League Cup final.

But the Spanish coach was keen to let his players take the credit for the dazzling 5-1 semi-final second leg victory which clinched a 6-2 aggregate success and left Arsenal so frustrated that Emmanuel Adebayor became embroiled in an ugly spat with Nicklas Bendtner.

Adebayor appeared to butt Bendtner late in the match as Arsenal prepared to defend a corner, leaving the Dane with blood on his nose.

There was no obvious spark to the clash but the feuding team-mates had to be kept apart by William Gallas. At full-time Adebayor was stopped from going down the tunnel at White Hart Lane, presumably to let him cool down before being in close proximty to Bendtner again.

To see Arsenal in such disarray only made success all the sweeter for Spurs, who finally ended a miserable nine-year run of 21 matches without a win over their north London rivals.

As if reaching their first cup final for six years wasn't enough, Ramos's side had done it by inflicting their heaviest defeat on the old enemy for 25 years.

Ramos had an exceptional record in knockout competitions at Sevilla and now he has taken Spurs to Wembley only four months after arriving at the club.

It is easy to see why Tottenham's directors were so keen to lure him away from Spain. But Ramos was disarmingly honest about his role in the Spurs resurgence.

"Obviously it makes me tremendously happy that the fans are happy with my work and with the team," he said. "But the players are the ones who run and make it work on the pitch.

"It's been a big change but without the collaboration of the players this would have been impossible. The huge efforts they have made to come out of that bad period have made the difference. I want to publicly acknowledge that they are the architects of the revival.

"It is the best performance since I came here and in order to beat a team like Arsenal you have to play well. We didn't make mistakes and were perfect in all areas of the team.

"Arsenal is one of the biggest teams in England so it is tremendously satisfying."

While Ramos and company can look forward to a final against Everton or Chelsea on February 24, Arsene Wenger was left to mount a damage limitation excerise after a chastening defeat.

Wenger stuck to his tried and trusted response in times of stress as he claimed he didn't see the Adebayor incident. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said.

But the Gunners manager certainly saw his highly-regarded youngsters given a lesson in controlled aggression and sustained pressure by Spurs. He insisted they will learn from the defeat.

"I feel that everything went against us. The score is very brutal but doesn't reflect what I've seen on the pitch," Wenger said.

"It is useful to see that some players are not completely ready for that level but also that they have potential. When you are a footballer you have to deal with disappointments. It is part of the learning process as well."

"I don't give too much meaning to the scoreline and I don't regret the team I picked. We have many targets and we go into every season wanting to win trophies, but this was not a priority."

Jermaine Jenas set the tone for Spurs when he burst into the penalty area and drove a low shot in off the far post in the third minute.

Bendtner's headed own goal in the 27th minute put Ramos's men in control and Robbie Keane put the result beyond doubt two minutes into the second half when he finished a lightning counter-attack.

Aaron Lennon steered in the fourth on the hour before Adebayor came off the bench to reduce the deficit with a thunderous strike.

The Togo striker then got involved in his row with Bendtner and Steed Malbranque capped a memorable night for Spurs with a stoppage time fifth for the hosts.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
2 34 +39 74
3 35 +43 71
4 34 +35 68
5 34 +25 63
6 34 +20 57

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
4 34 +35 68
5 34 +25 63
6 34 +20 57
7 35 +3 53
8 34 +2 44
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