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Arsenal crush Derby with Adebayor treble
September 22, 2007 23:53 IST
Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor grabbed his first hat-trick in English football to help Arsenal crush Derby County 5-0 to go four points clear at the top of the Premier League on Saturday.
The 23-year-old Adebayor struck once in the first half and twice in the second, including a penalty, as the Londoners outclassed promoted Derby at the Emirates Stadium.
Abou Diaby and Cesc Fabregas also netted as Arsenal raced clear of their title rivals with 16 points from six matches.
Elsewhere, second-placed Liverpool were held to a 0-0 home draw by promoted Birmingham City while Reading beat Wigan Athletic 2-1 and Middlesbrough drew 2-2 with north-east rivals Sunderland.
Fulham and third-placed Manchester City played out a 3-3 draw.
Among the five games on Sunday will be champions Manchester United against Chelsea, under new coach Avram Grant, at Old Trafford.
French defender Diaby opened the scoring for Arsenal with a powerful 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 Fabregas to score his first with an individual flourish 16 minutes later and added another goal from the penalty spot early in the second half after Eduardo da Silva was fouled by Matt Oakley.
Fabregas snatched the fourth with a swerving long-range shot before Adebayor competed his treble with another fine goal 11 minutes from time.
Liverpool, who left Spain striker Fernando Torres on the bench at the start, had long spells of possession but rarely threatened to break through against Birmingham.
Reading beat Wigan thanks to a last-gasp goal from James Harper.
Dave Kitson had put Reading in front before Marcus Bent equalised with a header.
Substitute Liam Miller earned Sunderland a point with a sweet half-volley a minute from time at Middlesbrough.
In Roy Keane's 50th game as Sunderland manager, the visitors went ahead through Grant Leadbitter before Boro replied through Julio Arca and Stewart Downing.