Football: Sutton keeps Arsenal at bay
Thursday 01 September 1994
Blackburn Rovers. . . . . . . . . . . . . .0
ARSENAL were far from amused last night when Chris Sutton, the goalscorer who showed not the slightest interest in their own pounds 5m advances in the summer, became the country's most expensive defender and helped keep them goalless for the third successive game.
Pressed into emergency duties after a red card for Jason Wilcox and a gruesome head wound sustained by Colin Hendry, Sutton revealed true box-to-box qualities and pointed out to George Graham the urgent need for the Arsenal manager to return to the transfer market.
That Sutton was more effective as a stopper than he had been as a striker said everything about Arsenal's domination, while the scoreline reveals all about where their failings lie.
When crosses found their target the chances were put tamely over the top by Alan Smith and Ian Wright. Later, the crosses found inviting space but not a single red shirt. No wonder Highbury's disgruntled filed out sighing 'Jurgen Klinsmann . . . if only'.
After two successive defeats, Arsenal were clearly determined to have their crisis and be done with it early on.
Kevin Campbell provided Tim Flowers with an immediate warmer for his hands. As it turned out, it was about the only opportunity Flowers had to prove that he, and not David Seaman, should keep goal for England next week while Steve Bould definitely will not be his country's centre- half. A groin injury has forced his withdrawal.
After Campbell had fisted the ball into the net tempers rose as, initially, Blackburn thought the referee had missed the offence. Five minutes later, Wright was booked for the third game in succession while Wilcox went the same way for fouling John Jensen. When, eight minutes into the second half, Wilcox clattered into Lee Dixon he was sent off, enforcing Sutton's retreat.
Tony Adams, a more permanent fixture in that role, left the field near the end suffering from double vision. On this evidence it is not the League and Cup.
Arsenal (4-4-2): Seaman; Dixon, Keown, Adams (Linighan, 89), Winterburn; Campbell, Jensen, Schwarz, Merson (Dickov, 83); Smith, Wright. Substitute not used: Bartram (gk).
Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2): Flowers; Berg, Gale, Hendry, Le Saux; Ripley (Warhurst, 60), Slater, Sherwood, Wilcox; Sutton, Shearer. Substitutes not used: Marker, Mimms (gk).
Referee: K Morton (Bury St Edmunds).
Latest in Sport
Raheem Sterling to Manchester City: Winger to report for Liverpool training on Monday but Reds braced for third City bid this week
Women's World Cup 2015: England secure third place as they beat Germany in extra time with penalty by Fara Williams
Angel Di Maria and Marcos Rojo could miss Manchester United's crucial Champions League play-off due to Copa America run
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Nick Kyrgios fans show their support by smearing Vegemite and Nutella on their faces amid Wimbledon run
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...