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Sep 16, 2009

Wenger: Only Hughes says Adebayor is innocent

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told Manchester City counterpart Mark Hughes that he is the only man who believes in Emmanuel Adebayor's innocence following the striker's apparent stamp on Robin van Persie at Eastlands on Saturday.

The Togo international has been charged with violent conduct by the FA and match referee Mark Clattenburg has confirmed he would have sent the former Gunner off for the challenge had he seen it clearly.

Hughes has called for his player to be "cut a bit of slack" and Wenger has responded by taking a pop at his opposite number over his blind defence of Adebayor's challenge.

"You ask 100 people, 99 will say it's very bad and the hundredth will be Mark Hughes," Wenger said. "I watched it when I got home and it looked very bad."

Adebayor is facing a three-match ban for violent conduct for the incident, while he is likely to face an additional punishment for the celebration that followed his goal in City's 4-2 win, when he ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in from of Arsenal's travelling fans.

Referring to Adebayor, Wenger said: "I was surprised there was so much animosity in his attitude towards Arsenal. In a few years I think he will realise just how good Arsenal were for him.

"I played football and I know exactly, in a fraction of a second, when you know your body well, where you leave your foot in or you pull out. You know exactly at that fraction, you can injure somebody or you cannot injure somebody and you ease off or you leave your foot in."

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