Ian Wright ‘threatened to walk off MOTD studio’ in Arsenal comeback

Arsenal V Bournemouth: Pictures

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BBC pundit Danny Murphy has claimed that Arsenal icon Ian Wright threatened to walk out of the Match of the Day studios during the Gunners’ 3-2 comeback win over Bournemouth on Saturday, as Gary Lineker suggested an unorthodox solution if they were down a co-star. Mikel Arteta’s outfit appeared to be heading towards a major blow in the Premier League title race as they found themselves 2-0 down to now-bottom side Bournemouth, but three second-half goals saw them through to a crucial three points.

After a 9.11-second opener by Bournemouth through Philip Billing, the Cherries doubled their lead on 57 minutes through Marcos Senesi. Arsenal fans, including Wright, were incensed that they could be dropping pivotal points at home to a relegation candidate on a day when Manchester City had already defeated Newcastle 2-0.

However, two goals within eight minutes tied the scoreline before a 97th-minute winner from forgotten man Reiss Nelson sent the Emirates into raptures. Lineker himself shared Wright’s incredible reaction to the goal on social media, but Murphy has revealed that his BBC colleague came close to quitting the show on Saturday.

“It was bedlam in the Match of the Day studios when Reiss Nelson scored Arsenal’s late winner,” Murphy wrote for the Daily Mail. “Everyone was jumping around, including me as an ex-Tottenham player. Sometimes the drama just takes you over, that’s why we love the game.

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“You can imagine what Ian Wright was like. When Bournemouth were leading 2-0, he threatened to walk out of the studio, only for Gary Lineker to suggest we’d use a cardboard cut-out instead.

“Needless to say, Wrighty was happy he stayed. It was another example of Arsenal’s resilience after late winners against Aston Villa and Manchester United. They are going nowhere in this title race.

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“In Eddie Nketiah and now Nelson, the Arsenal squad is deeper than people feared. And Mikel Arteta has the ruthless streak you need. He showed that by subbing the sub, Emile Smith Rowe, because he felt that was what the team needed.”

Wright did take up his position on the MOTD sofa alongside Lineker and Murphy, as he told Arsenal fans to enjoy the moment thanks to Nelson’s winner. “I’m so happy for Reiss after everything that has happened to him at Arsenal,” Wright said.

“They never gave up and that is what Mikel wants. People are saying Arsenal were acting like they won the league, the celebration police will be out. We’re talking about a young team who are finding a way to get this done. Not many people are at this table – the top end of the league, trying to win it. Enjoy it, Arsenal fans.”

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