The Game Changer : Was Emmanuel Adebayor harshly sent off in the 18th minute of Arsenal – Spurs?

As is his wont, Emmanuel Adebayor just had to leave his mark on another game against Arsenal.

His first game against his old employers back in September 2009 was marred by a face stamp on Robin Van Persie and a pitch-length celebration to goad the Arsenal fans (who had been obscenely abusing him).

The seasons pass, but it seems Adebayor’s adrenaline levels still get pumped to an uncontrollable level each time he faces them.

Today, his game lasted 18 minutes. He scored 10 minutes in, and was sent off 8 minutes later, for a high tackle on Santi Cazorla.

In Adebayor’s defence, the ball was there to be won, and if anything he was over-zealous rather than dangerously reckless.

But in the context of the game – no flashpoints/bookings – was the sending off harsh? At such an early stage and with the temperature so low, couldn’t a yellow have sufficed?

Stats show how rare sendings off are at such an early stage in the game, and with reason, as ‘bad blood’ has yet to build up, as it invariably does later in the game.

At the time of writing (half-time), what isn’t in doubt is that the sending off completely changed the complexion, and swung it back in Arsenal’s favour.

Watch Emmanuel Adebayor’s sending off for a high tackle here below.