• Premier League

Villas-Boas & Wenger in agreement over red card

ESPN staff
November 17, 2012

Arsenal claimed a 5-2 win over Tottenham and Arsene Wenger felt his side were deserved winners, although he did admit the dismissal of Spurs' Emmanuel Adebayor was the pivotal moment. He said: "Tottenham had a good start, we were a bit nervous and scored one goal when we made an adjustment mistake at the back, and a chance for a second goal. It looked like last season's game, but then there was the turning point with the sending off of Adebayor. t certainly changed the game because Adebayor had a good start, he was lively. What I made of it was: it was not rose, it was not yellow, it was a red.

"We came back into the game and got what we wanted, which was to win the game. It is not always easy against 10 - we have won games with 10 men. I thought it could become even more difficult because they could have dropped back and waited for us, but we had the quality and movement to play through their lines and create chances. There were some outstanding individual offensive performances."

Andre Villas-Boas had no qualms about the sending off, although he did insist that his side had "controlled the game from the first minute to the last". He added: "Players want to dispute the ball, there was no intention to do any harm. I think the sending-off determined the game, but the referee made the right decision.

"I'm very, very proud of the team. We had chances for 4-3 and if it had gone to only a one-goal difference, I think we could have gone all the way. We had the ambition and desire and I am extremely proud of the team."

QPR manager Mark Hughes will not consider resigning after seeing his side beaten by Southampton in a bottom-of-the-table clash. He said: "I can imagine there are a lot of frustrated people connected with QPR right now and I can understand that. But it's not a case of hiding. You have to front up, puff your chest out, get to the bones of it and change things around. We'll do that very quickly."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, victorious Saints manager Nigel Adkins struck an altogether different tone: "We knew at half-time that QPR would come straight at us after the break but the players dealt with the situation very well. We had good game-management.

"The fans lifted the players all the way through the game. We're all together, we're working hard for everyone and it was a great afternoon for us. We are all supporting each other. Everyone is together at our football club."

Another crucial win on the day came at Reading, who got off the mark in the league with a belated triumph against Everton. Brian McDermott said: "We showed too much respect towards Everton in the first half and I just told the players at half-time to raise the tempo of our game. I've not been listening to the doubters or reading about the doubters in the newspapers. But I will read the papers tomorrow because we have won."

At the Hawthorns, West Brom overcame Chelsea to dent their title hopes. Steve Clarke was hardly playing down talk of European qualification, noting: "There is a feel good factor here. Our job is to keep our feet on the ground but if the supporters want to dream they can."

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert was incensed by the first penalty decision against his side. The scoreline was just 1-0 to Manchester City at the time, but the title holders went on to win 5-0. He said: "I've just watched it. That is never a handball, nowhere near it, it was an absolutely ridiculous decision and never a penalty in its life - it came off the City player's head and did not touch Andreas Weimann's hand. None of their players appealed and how he called that in a big moment in the game, I don't know."

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