Emmanuel Adebayor has explained why Thierry Henry can claim an 'assist' on the opening goal against Tottenham at the weekend - even though the injured Arsenal captain was sitting on the sidelines.

Henry's absence thrust his Togolese team-mate into the spotlight for a massive North London derby on Saturday. Adebayor responded with a superb all-round performance capped by a goal in the 20th minute. The 21-year-old sprang Tottenham's offside trap, raced through and then slotted a confident shot past Paul Robinson.

To celebrate, he ran to the touchline and hugged Henry. Afterwards, Adebayor explained why.

"Thierry has a lot of experience," he said. "Before the game he came in the dressing room telling me what to do and what not to do. He told me if I had the ball with the just the goalkeeper in front of you he will never go down and will just stay there before you.

"That means you have to take your time, be calm and the ball will go in. [Robinson] is one of the best goalkeepers in England. He will just stay in front of you and never fall down.

"I told Thierry that if I scored I'd go to see him just behind the bench. I did it and he is very proud of me.

"That's a big help of course. Playing with a player like Thierry helps but I'm still learning and I hope one day that will help me more.

"We are a family in this team and it's very important to help each other. We're both from France and we're both like brothers. When I came to London he told me the best places to stay, restaurants and the best places to go.

"When Thierry is not there we have to do the job for him and it was very important for us to be ready for this game. We play in the same team and I have to give all what I have in my heart for this side.

"Now we will take our time, have a good recovery and do our best on Wednesday at Porto."

8/1 - Arsenal to win the 2006/07 FA Cup

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4 Dec 2006