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Adebayor double puts Arsenal top
September 15, 2007 19:35 IST
Last Updated: September 15, 2007 22:16 IST
Arsenal continued their domination over north London [Images] rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, winning 3-1 to surge top of the English Premier League.
Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice for the slick Gunners either side of a stunning effort from Cesc Fabregas after Gareth Bale had raised Tottenham hopes of a first victory over their arch-rivals since 1999.
Liverpool slipped to second after drawing 0-0 at Portsmouth for whom Nwankwo Kanu had a penalty saved, while Manchester United moved into the top four for the first time this season with a scrappy 1-0 victory at Everton.
Arsenal have 13 points from five games, two more than Liverpool and Manchester United. Chelsea could also go to 13 if they win at home to Blackburn Rovers in a late kickoff.
Elsewhere, West Ham United's bright start continued with a 3-0 home defeat of Middlesbrough, Sunderland ended a run of three league defeats with a 2-1 win over Reading and Bolton Wanderers stay in trouble after losing 1-0 at Birmingham City.
Tottenham manager Martin Jol has been under scrutiny after a poor start to the season but things were looking better for the home side when Bale's free kick after 14 minutes beat Spanish keeper Manuel Almunia at the near post.
Arsenal should have been level before halftime, Adebayor twice being denied by Spurs keeper Paul Robinson and Abou Diaby hitting a great chance against the crossbar.
Bulgaria striker Dimitar Berbatov could have put Tottenham 2-0 ahead soon after the break but he delayed his shot too long and was robbed by defender Kolo Toure.
Adebayor made up for a bad miss to make it 1-1 when he headed in a Fabregas free kick after 65 minutes.
Berbatov wasted another opportunity for Spurs and Arsenal punished the home side after 79 minutes when Fabregas left Tottenham's midfield trailing before smashing a shot past Robinson from 25 metres.
Substitute Darren Bent made a hash of a chance to equalise for Spurs and Adebayor sealed victory deep in stoppage time with a superb volley that Thierry Henry [Images], now with Barcelona, would have been proud of.
"It's a bit early to talk about being on top, but we are consistent, it's pleasant to watch," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told reporters.
"We will never forget Thierry Henry but we have shown the team is growing, there is something exciting about our quality and our mental strength."
United claimed their third consecutive 1-0 victory when Nemanja Vidic met Nani's corner seven minutes from the end of a forgettable match at Goodison Park.
Everton's best opportunity came just after halftime when Andy Johnson's header was kicked off the line by Paul Scholes and James McFadden, Scotland's hero in midweek against France [Images], was denied an equaliser by United keeper Edwin van der Sar.
United lost French defender Mikel Silvestre in the first half when he was taken off on a stretcher with a nasty-looking knee injury.
Liverpool were below-par at Fratton Park and were given a let-off in the first half when Kanu had his shirt tugged in the penalty area by Alvaro Arbeloa but had his penalty saved by keeper Pepe Reina.
Manager Rafael Benitez left captain Steven Gerrard and striker Fernando Torres on the bench before sending them on in the second half and they almost combined to win the game for Liverpool.
Gerrard surged through and played in the Spaniard but he lofted his shot high over the bar from a good position.
Wigan Athletic drew 1-1 at home to Fulham thanks to a late penalty by Jason Koumas.