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Rediff.com  » Sports » Adebayor strike keeps Spurs in Champions League race

Adebayor strike keeps Spurs in Champions League race

May 12, 2013 20:53 IST

Emmanuel Adebayor struck seven minutes from time to earn Tottenham Hotspur a 2-1 Premier League victory at Stoke City on Sunday that kept their fading hopes of Champions League qualification alive.

Spurs trailed to Steven Nzonzi's early goal but Clint Dempsey equalised and after Stoke's Charlie Adam was sent off just minutes into the second half, Spurs made their advantage count when Adebayor tapped in at the far post to earn his team a vital win.

Tottenham Hotspur's Emmanuel Adebayor (centre) celebrates with teammate Steven Caulker after scoring against Stoke City during their English Premier League match at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, England on SundayTottenham climbed above Arsenal into fourth place, three points behind Chelsea with one match left. Arsenal trail Spurs by two points but have two games to play.

Spurs made a sluggish start and were punished after three minutes when Stoke midfielder Nzonzi stole in at the near post to head home Adam's free kick.

Tottenham, however, responded well and Dempsey conjured up a superb improvised equaliser after 20 minutes.

The American international took advantage of hesitancy in the Stoke defence and with goalkeeper Asmir Begovic stranded out of his goal Dempsey reacted quickly to chip the ball first time into the unguarded net from 30 yards.

Spurs, inspired by Player of the Year Gareth Bale, enjoyed long periods of possession and their cause was helped when Adam was sent off two minutes into the second half after a foul on Jan Vertonghen earned him a second yellow card.

Dempsey set up Adebayor's winner with a low cross from the right, condemning 12th-placed Stoke to a defeat which meant they are still not safe from relegation with one game left in the season. Tony Pulis's side are six points above third-bottom Wigan Athletic who have two matches to play.

Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

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