Leaders Arsenal crush Derby with Adebayor hat trick

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LONDON, Sep 22 (Reuters) Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored his first hat-trick in English football to help Arsenal consolidate top spot in the Premier League by crushing Derby County 5-0 today.

Adebayor struck once in the first half and twice in the second, including a penalty, as the Londoners outclassed promoted Derby.

Abou Diaby and Cesc Fabregas also netted as Arsenal moved four points clear at the top.

Elsewhere, Liverpool were held to a 0-0 home draw by promoted Birmingham City while Reading beat Wigan Athletic 2-1 and Middlesbrough drew 2-2 with north-east rivals Sunderland.

Champions Manchester United host Chelsea, under new coach Avram Grant, tomorrow.

REUTERS GT RK2155

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