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Adebayor sets sights on silverware

Published: Wednesday 15 April 2009, 10.44CET
Emmanuel Adebayor insists the time has come for Arsenal FC to fulfil their potential as they welcome Villarreal CF aiming to reach only their second UEFA Champions League semi-final following his spectacular first-leg goal.
by Andrew Haslam
from London
Adebayor sets sights on silverware
Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates his first-leg strike ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

ArsenalVillarreal

Goals scored17
 
13
Attempts on target60
 
61
Attempts off target66
 
60
Corners77
 
50
Offsides47
 
22
Fouls committed178
 
129
Yellow cards20
 
21
Red cards0
3
 
Published: Wednesday 15 April 2009, 10.44CET

Adebayor sets sights on silverware

Emmanuel Adebayor insists the time has come for Arsenal FC to fulfil their potential as they welcome Villarreal CF aiming to reach only their second UEFA Champions League semi-final following his spectacular first-leg goal.

Emmanuel Adebayor believes the time has come for Arsenal FC to fulfil their potential as they welcome Villarreal CF to north London aiming to reach only their second UEFA Champions League semi-final.

You can see the hunger in our faces – we want to achieve things together
Emmanuel Adebayor

Trophy drought
The Togolese striker's spectacular bicycle kick earned Arsenal a 1-1 draw in last week's quarter-final first leg and Adebayor believes the time is right for him to win his first silverware as an Arsenal player. "I've been saying every year that it's time we won a trophy – saying that is one thing, but going for it is even better," he said. "I've been here for three years now and we've got a good chance of doing well this season, so we have to stand up and go for it. The pressure to win trophies is there and I can understand that. I prefer to think about how I can help the team."

'Believe in ourselves'
Adebayor has been here before, however, having seemingly scored the goal that took Arsenal into last season's semi-finals with six minutes to go in the last-eight second leg at Liverpool FC – only for the home side to strike twice in the final moments. "Last year it was very difficult for us the way we got knocked out at Liverpool, but this time we're at home in the second leg and we've got a good chance of going through," he explained. "Villarreal are a good side and technically they are very strong so it's going to be tough but we have to believe in ourselves and our quality."

Special association
Should he feature on Wednesday night, Adebayor would be making his 50th appearance in UEFA club competition. Eight of his 13 European goals have come in Adebayor's 35 UEFA Champions League games and the 25-year-old admits the competition holds a special pull for his club, who were losing finalists in 2006. "As a player I just want to achieve things – that's the same for most players here, they come to this club to win trophies," he said. "It would be even better if it's in this competition, as the club has been running after this cup for a long time."

Back to form
Adebayor returned from almost two months out with a hamstring problem at the end of March and, with three goals in his last three club matches, has quickly slipped back into the groove. "It was a difficult moment for me when I got injured; I wasn't hitting the net and criticism was coming down," he said. "I don't say it's a good thing I got injured but sometimes it's good to go back and see what you have done well and what you have done badly. I went to my national team, I went home to see my family and that made me feel even better." The forward's recent form has shown few ill-effects from his lay-off, although he is quick to emphasise he is not alone in that, adding: "Most of the time before a Champions League game training is a little bit tired because we played the weekend before. Today everybody looked sharp. You can see the hunger in our faces – we want to achieve things together. "

Last updated: 15/04/09 21.37CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15278/match=302807/prematch/focus/index.html#adebayor+sets+sights+silverware

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