Bergkamp's bounty hunt

Arsenal 1 (Bergkamp 24) Coventry City 1 (Whelan) 23 Attendance: 35,623

AS THE Premiership season enters its decisive stages, one of the few certainties is that Coventry City will not bore their way out of trouble. Yesterday at Highbury they needed an untypical dose of nervousness by Arsenal's Ian Wright, who not only missed a penalty but also one-on-one chances in each half, to survive. But in the final stages, City threw themselves at the Arsenal goal as though they needed an equaliser, not a winner.

The bold approach is typical of their manager, Ron Atkinson, who said afterwards: "We have to play that way, because all our best players are forwards." If he was referring to Noel Whelan, the remark was entirely justified. The England Under-21 forward scored a well-taken goal and was a constant threat to an Arsenal defence missing Steve Bould, Martin Keown and Tony Adams. Adams's inaction will be extended by at least a month after he underwent keyhole surgery to remove a cartilage yesterday.

Adams' absence was notably exploited by Coventry, who produced an astonishing opening five minutes in which they might have scored three goals. Richard Shaw's diving header forced David Seaman into a fine reflex save, and the keeper had to reproduce that moments later to stop Whelan's fierce half-volley. Lee Dixon then cleared the same player's header from under the bar.

It took Arsenal time to break Coventry's grip. Wright, elevated to captain, could not force his shot past Steve Ogrizovic after John Jensen's pass left him clear. It was an ominous miss. Coventry duly claimed their reward for early enterprise as Whelan latched on to Kevin Richardson's volleyed pass, calmly dinking the ball past Seaman.

But Coventry - with a record of conceding two goals a game - instantly threw away their advantage. Straight from the kick-off, Arsenal worked the ball to Glenn Helder, who powered down the left pulling defenders towards him. This left Dennis Bergkamp unmarked to head in the cross for the equaliser.

That was the end of the scoring, but not of the chances. "Nobody leaves the room when we're playing," Atkinson noted and, though the second-half initiative rested with Arsenal, Wright squandered key chances. First, his weak penalty, given after Marcus Hall seemed to have pulled him down, allowed Ogrizovic to save. Later, when Wright was put clear by a Paul Merson chip, the giant keeper turned the shot away with his left arm.

Coventry never quite created such clear-cut openings, but their spirit was always willing, most notably that of Gordon Strachan, who illuminated the game. His 78th-minute substitution by a forward, Peter Ndlovu, underlined Atkinson's commitment to Coventry attacking their way to survival.

News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Bruce, left, with Cream bandmates Ginger Rogers, centre, and Eric Clapton in 1967
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker