TOTTENHAM (2) vs ARSENAL (1)
TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp branded the Arsenal fans who subjected Emmanuel Adebayor to a torrent of abuse throughout a heated north London derby as “disgusting”.
Kyle Walker’s 25-yard blast secured three points for Spurs, affording the Togo striker the last laugh and the opportunity to laud it over the supporters who once idolised him.
Redknapp beamed after a fourth consecutive league victory, but blasted those fans who chanted that they wished their former striker had been killed in the armed ambush of the Togo team bus last year.
“How do you chant something like that?” he said. “You can’t be right, mentally. There’s kids up there. I don’t know what you can do but you can do something to the parents of those kids. It’s disgusting. It’s got no place in life.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, who was subjected to the usual vile abuse, along with Bacary Sagna, the full-back who will miss the next three months after he sustained a fracture to the fibula in his right leg when colliding with the advertising boards, added: “We respect everybody and we want to be respected as well.”
Wenger was also involved in an ugly touchline spat with Tottenham assistant coach Clive Allen at the final whistle. The Frenchman shook hands with Redknapp and Tottenham’s No2 Kevin Bond but skipped Allen, who subsequently described Wenger as “two-bob”.
“I shook the hand of the manager and the assistant,” Wenger said. “How many hands do I have to shake?”
The game itself lived up to recent incident packed editions of this fixture. Arsenal enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but Spurs carried the greater goal threat and took a deserved lead in the 40th minute.
Rafael van der Vaart collected Adebayor’s pass – deliberately with the use of his hand, according to Wenger – and fired low past Wojciech Szczesny.
The Gunners responded with the equaliser six minutes after the interval – Aaron Ramsey stabbing home Alex Song’s cross – but Walker’s fizzing shot 17 minutes from the end slipped through the grasp of the previously outstanding Szczesny to condemn Arsenal to a fourth defeat of the season.
Wenger effectively ruled his side out of the title race afterwards, but Redknapp still believes they will mount a challenge for fourth place.
He said: “They’re a strong side when they get one or two back from injury. Obviously, it’s great for the fans to beat Arsenal and it’s a big game.
“When you’ve beaten one of the teams that are going to be up there with you, it’s always a bonus.”