Emmanuel Adebayor’s celebration against Arsenal is without question one of the greatest moments in Premier League history.
After making the move from Arsenal to Manchester City in the summer of 2009, Adebayor suffered heaps of insults and abuse from the visiting supporters as well as being booed all game in his first outing against his former club.
Then, in the second half, the Togolese striker rose highest to meet a Shaun Wright-Phillips cross and headed home City’s third goal in a 4-2 win at the Etihad Stadium.
As soon as he saw the ball bounce past Manuel Almunia, adrenaline kicked in for Adebayor.
Happy Birthday Emmanuel Adebayor. pic.twitter.com/TJaDKoiAcU
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) February 26, 2021
Never forget when Emmanuel Adebayor ran the length of the Etihad pitch to celebrate a vital Manchester City goal in front of a seriously pissed off Arsenal away end.
Kolo Toure’s face says it all 😂 pic.twitter.com/7ch2hk29Hi
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) December 5, 2020
Running faster than he ever did in his whole career, he proceeded to dart down the opposite end of the pitch, where the Arsenal fans were situated, sliding right in front of them.
Adebayor was fined £25,000 by the FA, while he also received a three-match ban for stamping on former teammate Robin van Persie during the game.
He initially expressed regret over his actions and said “I’ve made a big mistake” in his post-match interview.
“I’ve made a big mistake”
— Sky Sports Retro (@SkySportsRetro) February 21, 2021
But years on, the well-travelled striker admitted he would have done the same again.
“Afterwards, I got told the English FA wanted to give me a nice fine, but even if I would have had to pay €2 million, considering what I went through, I would have still done it,” he explained to So Foot magazine, via The Mirror.
“I wasn’t going to stand there, listening to five thousand people insult my family when they had nothing to do with it. During that moment, I felt like I weighed 20 kilos when I felt like I weighed 2000 kilos before the game.
“When I start to run, Wright-Phillips tries to catch me. He’s small, so a shoulder barge sends him flying. Then there was Barry, very slow: a quick juke move and he’s left behind. Around the centre circle was Kolo Toure, and he quickly realised it was better to just let me do my thing.
“When I slide on my knees, arms wide in front of the fans, I felt untouchable. People were throwing everything: phone, bottles of water. I never flinched. Everything flew past me. Pew, pew, like in the movies!
“It was like having a sensation of being in prison for so many years and suddenly being told: ‘Brother, take the door and leave. Now, you are free’. That’s what I felt, a deliverance.”