Emmanuel Adebayor came off the bench to score a hat-trick as Arsenal thrashed already-relegated Premier League basement side Derby County 6-2 at Pride Park here Monday.
It was the second time this season the Gunners had inflicted a heavy defeat upon the Rams after their 5-0 win at the Emirates Stadium in September.
Arsenal were only 2-1 ahead at half time after goals from Nicklas Bendtner and Robin van Persie sandwiched one from Derby’s Jay McEveley.
But the second-half revolved around Togo striker Adebayor who took his tally for the season to 30.
Rams striker Rob Earnshaw scored his first Derby goal and Theo Walcott netted for Arsenal, although this threatened to be something of a hollow win for the north Londoners.
The result left the Gunners in third place, four points behind the top two of Manchester United and Chelsea with two games left this season.
Mathematically, they can still win the title although it would take an extraordinary set of results for Arsene Wenger’s side to leapfrog their rivals.
Nevertheless, Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas refused to give up hope. “Nothing is impossible,” he told Setanta Sports.
“We have to win the last two games and then we’ll see. We are not the favourites, but you never know.”
Adebayor, who also scored a hat-trick against in the home game against Derby praised his team-mates for the way they set up his goals.
“It was an important game for us and we want to finish as strongly as possible,” he said. “Every time I have a good ball to finish. I’m very happy but the most important thing is for the team to win.”
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