• Hughes requests leniency over goal celebration
Robin van Persie holds his face following a challenge by Emmanuel Adebayor.
Adebayor scored during the match against his former employers as City continued their 100% start to the season. But the second-half incident with Van Persie, as well as claims that Adebayor deliberately chose to celebrate his goal in front of the Arsenal fans, seems likely to overshadow the result of the match.
"I am sad and disappointed by my former team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor's mindless and malicious stamp on me during today's match, We are both professional footballers and I know that the game is physical, I too have made hard and sometimes mis-timed challenges but never with the intention of hurting an opponent. He set out to hurt me today.
I knew he was aiming for a collision because he changed the angle of his body to allow contact to be made. He moved backwards when his natural momentum would have taken him forward. I find that deeply disrespectful. He has shown a real lack of class today, to me and the fans.
I do feel lucky that I have not suffered a greater injury. The contact was only centimetres from my eye. I have not received an apology from him, there were no words exchanged afterwards. He had his own agenda today and that is bad for football. It's bad for the game we all love.
I want to make it clear that this has nothing to do with the result of today's match. We do not hide from that disappointment but I need to speak out about his behaviour."
But his new manager at City, Mark Hughes, also issued a statement this evening, defending his player. "We have to cut Emmanuel a bit of slack," said Hughes. "He is an emotional guy and was caught up in the moment.
"We just have to understand that he is an emotional guy and he wanted to share the moment with the fans in the corner with whom he has a special affinity. It is the same area that the Arsenal fans were in so there is the potential for people to see it as the wrong thing to do. We recognise that and so does Ade."
Adebayor was booked for his goal celebration, although the alleged stamp on Van Persie went unpunished. The Football Association has yet to respond, nor have Arsenal issued any official complaint about either incident.