Wright hooks Uefa space

Blackburn Rovers 1 Gallacher 13 Arsenal 1 Wright 75 pen Attendan ce: 29,834

Ian Wright's last act in a match of drama and controversy at Ewood Park keeps Arsenal's nose in front in the race for the last Uefa Cup place.

The 32-year-old striker, his future at Highbury still in some doubt, claimed his 23rd goal of the season when he beat Tim Flowers from the penalty spot after Colin Hendry was ruled to have brought down Ray Parlour in an incident that provoked fury among the Blackburn players. In doing so, Wright aggravated a groin injury sustained in the first half and took no further part.

The penalty award did seem a decision worthy of debate, the kind of tangle in which neither player seemed any more culpable. But the linesman indicated that he had seen a foul and the referee, Keith Cooper, pointed to the spot. Blackburn, already down to 10 after the dismissal of Billy McKinlay on the hour, expressed outrage, five players bearing down on the line official before Cooper restored order.

At this stage, of course, such moments are critical and Blackburn's disappointment was understandable. Until Wright's kick went in, it did appear that their last home match as champions would bring the tangible reward of Europe within their grasp.

They had been favoured by good fortune when an extraordinary error by David Seaman presented them with an early lead, but had subsequently looked well capable of adding to their advantage.

In the 13th minute, Jason Wilcox was released by McKinlay and had acres of space to attack the goal from the left-flank. What Seaman was thinking about only he will know, but he decided to race from his line to take on the winger himself. Wilcox flighted the ball over his head and Kevin Gallacher, lying in wait, scored easily.

Thereafter, Wright was denied brilliantly by Flowers, hit a post with his follow-up, then saw David Platt's header blocked on the line. But Blackburn still retained an air of control and had opportunity to put the result beyond reach.

Then came the penalty, a misfortune both for Hendry, otherwise impeccable, and for the respected Cooper, in his last Premiership match. After that, Arsenal threatened to take all the points, Hendry clearing off the line from Dennis Bergkamp and Flowers denying John Hartson.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth Games
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
film
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Extras
indybestSpice up your knife with our selection of delicious toppings
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL DBA (2005/2008/2012, projects, storage requirements)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Copywriter - Corporate clients - Wimbledon

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Copywriter - London As a Copywrite...

Horticulture Lecturer / Tutor / Assessor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: As a result of our successf...

Retail Lecturer / Assessor / Tutor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are succ...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried