Football: Sutton keeps Arsenal at bay

Arsenal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

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).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP & MVC Frameworks

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing company in Belvedere ...

SThree: Recruitment Consultant - IT

£25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior PHP Developer

£24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work in a sm...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Specialist - HR Team

£26000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders