Emmanuel Adebayor answered his critics in spectacular fashion Saturday afternoon in one of his best performances ever on any football pitch during Manchester City’s incredible 4-2 win against Arsenal.

Adebayor had a lot to prove to Arsenal supporters after he left on bad terms this summer. After scoring a decisive header past the reach of Manuel Almunia, Adebayor showed how incredulous he was by turning and sprinting the entire length of the pitch to dive on his knees in front of the Arsenal supporters and raise his hands in triumph.

I’ve never seen Adebayor run as fast as he did after scoring that goal, but by mocking the Arsenal fans, Adebayor nearly caused a riot as Arsenal fans incensed by Adebayor’s actions threw objects on to the pitch and pushed forward trying to get past the stewards and on to the field. Thankfully, the stewards were able to prevent the Arsenal supporters from breaking on to the pitch.

For Adebayor, it was a stupid move to make. Scoring the goal against his former team and committing Arsenal to defeat should have been enough vindication. But Adebayor wanted to rub Arsenal’s noses in it, which is exactly what he did when he celebrated his goal in front of the away supporters.

Adebayor’s disgraceful behavior aside, this was an incredible performance by both Adebayor and Manchester City in what was the best second half game of the season thus far. Adebayor thoroughly deserved his man-of-the-match award — not only because of his goal — but because of his performance over the entire 90 minutes when he was a deciding factor in defense for City as he headed balls out of City’s box over- and over again. Plus, he went on a incredible dribble down the left side of the pitch leaving three Gunners in his path and slotting the ball to Wright-Phillips only for the City player to shoot the ball agonizingly wide.

Manchester City’s 4-5-1 formation was a perfect antidote to Arsenal’s attack. Adebayor had the game of his life, but Craig Bellamy and Wright-Phillips were also inspirational as well as Shay Given who made several wonderful saves.

Despite the scoreline, Arsenal were impressive and could have easily tied the game. Van Persie hit the post and had a shot that went just past the post. Bendtner should have done better in front of goal. But overall, City deserved to win the match with a performance that will give Manchester United plenty to worry about for the Manchester derby next weekend.