Adebayor winner lifts Spurs above Arsenal to 4th
STOKE, England (AP) — Emmanuel Adebayor scored a late winner as Tottenham came from behind to beat 10-man Stoke 2-1 in the Premier League on Sunday, provisionally lifting the team above Arsenal into fourth place in the race for Champions League qualification.
Spurs are two points ahead of their north London rivals, who play their game in hand against Wigan on Tuesday, after Adebayor tapped in Clint Dempsey’s low cross in the 83rd minute.
Dempsey had equalized for Tottenham at Britannia Stadium in the 20th after Steven Nzonzi opened the scoring in the third minute for Stoke, which is still not mathematically safe from relegation.
Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam was sent off in the 47th after collecting a second yellow card for a foul on Jan Vertonghen.
Spurs’ 2-2 draw at Chelsea on Wednesday meant their top-four destiny is no longer in their own hands but beating Stoke has at least put pressure on Arsenal and ensured the battle for fourth will go down to the final day of the season, when Tottenham hosts Sunderland and Arsenal visits Newcastle.
Initially, though, Tottenham couldn’t live with Stoke’s trademark intensity and physicality, and conceded a poor goal when Adam whipped in a straightforward free kick to the near post for Nzonzi to glance home a header.
Roared on by its fans, Stoke was winning all the 50-50s and second balls but Tottenham finally came into the game with Gareth Bale off target with a couple of chances before Dempsey reacted quickly to place a finish into an empty net from 30 yards out after Mark Wilson botched a clearance following miscommunication with goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
Adam’s red card changed the complexion of the game and Spurs peppered Begovic’s goal with a series of shots from Dempsey, Bale and Adebayor.
The crucial breakthrough arrived when Dempsey wriggled free in the area and delivered an inviting center that Adebayor could hardly miss.
Stoke is six points clear of third-from-bottom Wigan, which has two matches remaining, and has a far superior goal difference.