Football: Wright aggravates strain

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Coventry City. .0

Arsenal. . . . .2

FIRST things first - Ian Wright did play, he did not get booked and so he did not discount himself from Arsenal's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on 4 April. However, after getting on the scoresheet he limped off having aggravated the groin strain that has been troubling him for over a month.

After the game, George Graham, the Arsenal manager, said that Wright may have a hernia and will be rested for four days before undergoing tests to see if he needs an operation which could keep him out of the semi-final, the Coca-Cola Cup final two week's later and England's forthcoming qualifying matches.

The game was an innocuous affair contested by two tired-looking sides. Arsenal were the superior outfit, though Coventry started more dominantly, forcing Tony Adams and Martin Keown to soak up some early pressure.

When Coventry's defence was tested, though, it was with less impressive results - two goals inside a minute was a double set-back from which they never recovered.

The first was created by a delightful through ball from Arsenal's renascent Paul Davies which found Kevin Campbell poorly marked and in space to fire low past the goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic. The second was the result of a total defensive misunderstanding that set up Wright for his 26th and probably easiest goal of the season.

The mix-up was between Ogrizovic and Peter Atherton who was standing on the edge of the area. They were undecided who was going to clear the ball when Wright approached, took the ball unchallenged, and slotted it into an unguarded net. Wright may have been missing his regular provider Alan Smith yesterday, but never can Smith have served him up a better chance.

With a mere 60 minutes to run, this goal was enough to allow the Gunners to slip back into semi-repose and observe their opponents' ineffective action. Coventry did take control again, but it was 10 minutes before the end when they finally tested David Seaman for the first time.

Coventry City: S Ogrizovic; B Borrows, P Babb, P Atherton, D Busst, J Williams, P Ndlovu, K Gallacher, D Rennie, L Jenkinson (L McGrath, 73 min), S Flynn (M Gynn, 73 min). Sub not used: J Gould (gk). Manager: B Gould.

Arsenal: D Seaman; L Dixon, M Keown, P Davis, A Linighan, T Adams, R Parlour, I Wright (A Limpar, 63 min), K Campbell, P Merson (D Hillier, 84 min), S Morrow. Sub not used: A Miller (gk). Manager: G Graham.

Referee: D Allison (Lancaster).

Goals: Campbell (0-1, 28 min); Wright (0-2, 29 min).