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Nov 18, 2012

Adebayor apologises for sending-off

Emmanuel Adebayor says he was left "devastated" after being sent-off against Arsenal as Tottenham went down 5-2 in the North London derby.

• Blog: Five things we learned
• Blog: Foolish Adebayor punished

Adebayor was shown a red card for lunging in on Santi Cazorla just seven minutes after scoring the opening goal for Spurs. The striker later apologised in the Sun newspaper for putting his side a man down.

"I completely understand my sending off changed the entire outcome of the game and I whole-heartedly apologise to my team-mates, the manager and all the Tottenham fans for letting them down," he told the Sun.

"But I must stress that my challenge was not malicious in any way whatsoever. I was genuinely trying to win the ball and probably stretched my foot out a bit too far in the heat of the moment.

"Nobody could have felt more devastated than me as I walked off the pitch. I so much wanted to help Tottenham win and thought for a moment that I'd actually set that win up when I scored, but football changes so quickly. One minute a hero, the next a villain."

However, manager Andre Villas-Boas insists Adebayor had no reason to apologise, refusing to lay any blame at the feet of the 28-year-old.

"The red card did not change the running of the game," Villas-Boas stated. "We understand that it could have been any other player on any other day. This is football. Challenges like this happen. I don't think he was too wound up. We make the most out of players' motivations.

"Ade was in full control of his emotions and in a north-London derby, you want players to be strong and brave. Ade did not go in to harm Cazorla. Cazorla is quick, he reacted and took the ball away before Ade's feet met his foot.

"We felt at half-time [at 3-1 down], that if we could cut the margin to one goal ... the stadium wasn't with Arsenal, there was nervousness around ... we felt that we could have a chance. At 4-2, we had chances for 4-3.

"Yes, we suffered but there were chances that, had we converted and brought the score to only one goal difference, it could have gone our way. We were very, very good from the first minute to the last, with 11 men and with 10 men. We were in control from the first minute to the last minute."

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