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Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Sunday, 11 May 2008 16:58 UK

Middlesbrough 8-1 Man City

By Chris Bevan

Tuncay and Stewart Downing celebrate Boro's opening goal
Tuncay and Stewart Downing celebrate the first of Boro's goals

Middlesbrough ran riot against a beleaguered Manchester City side.

City's problems began when Richard Dunne saw red for fouling Tuncay and Stewart Downing scored from the spot.

Afonso Alves drilled home, then Downing hooked into the net and Alves ran clear to make it 4-0 before Adam Johnson scored with a deflected effort.

Fabio Rochemback's fierce free-kick was followed by Jeremie Aliadiere's low shot and, although Elano replied, Alves completed his hat-trick to make it 8-1.

If, as is widely expected, this game proves to be Sven-Goran Eriksson's final game in charge of City then it was a miserable end to his reign at Eastlands.

Interview: Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate

And if City owner Thaksin Shinawatra was still unsure about the Swede's future before kick-off, this defeat could well have made up his mind for him.

City were torn apart by Boro who, without some excellent saves from visiting keeper Andreas Isaksson, would have reached double figures at a canter.

Eriksson could point at Dunne's red card after 15 minutes as the start of his troubles but, even with 10 men, they should not have capitulated in the manner they did.

City will have to hope that Dunne's dismissal will not make any difference to their hopes of qualifying for next season's Uefa Cup via the fair play league.

A fortuitous place in Europe aside, their season has limped to a disappointing conclusion - this defeat was their third in a row - but Boro deserve credit too for the way they went for the kill.


Dunne probably did not mean to catch Tuncay, who had met Chris Riggott's pass on the edge of the area, but he did foul the Turkish striker and referee Phil Dowd was right to send him off.

Downing made no mistake from the spot and Boro were on their way. They did not look back.

Isaksson, who is also expected to be leaving City after a frustrating season spent mostly as a substitute, made the first of several top-class stops when he denied Alves from close range but the Brazilian was soon on the scoresheet.

His compatriot Rochemback found him in space in the area and Alves made no mistake with his finish.

By now City's defence was nowhere to be seen and only another brilliant stop from Isaksson kept out George Boateng's shot at the far post.

Interview: Manchester City boss Sven Goran Eriksson

Downing put the game beyond City's reach with a superb volley before Alves made it 4-0, sprinting clear and finding the net despite the best efforts of Isaksson and Gelson Fernandes.

Adam Johnson came off the bench to score with a shot that span home off City defender Michael Ball and Rochemback smashed home his side's sixth goal with a powerful free-kick into the top corner.

Aliadiere came on for Tuncay and made it 7-0 by shooting into the far corner and, although Elano did manage a consolation for City when he cut inside and curled his shot past Mark Schwarzer, it was only fitting that Boro had the last word.

It was Alves who completed the rout, and his hat-trick, when he was again left all alone to fire past the helpless Isaksson.

Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate:
"It was a great performance to say goodbye to our fans.

"The circumstances at City may have made things difficult for them and it was a massive uphill task once Richard Dunne has been sent off.

"Dunne did not mean to bring Tuncay down but I don't think the referee had a lot of choice but to send him off."

Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson:
"It is difficult to take whenever you lose. But, when you lose like this, it is awful.

"To concede a penalty and have Richard Dunne sent off was a bad start but we were in the game until it was 3-0.

"After that, mentally we had nothing left. We were not even on the pitch - the team had totally gone and it was embarrassing for everyone."

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Young (McMahon 75), Riggott, Wheater, Pogatetz, Boateng, Rochemback, Arca (Johnson 62), Downing, Sanli (Aliadiere 62), Alves.
Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Taylor.

Booked: Pogatetz, Young.

Goals: Downing 16 pen, Alves 37, Downing 58, Alves 60, Johnson 70, Rochemback 80, Aliadiere 85, Alves 90.

Man City: Isaksson, Jihai, Corluka, Dunne, Ball, Ireland, Gelson, Petrov (Elano 71), Garrido, Vassell (Hamann 62), Mwaruwari (Castillo 13).
Subs Not Used: Hart, Caicedo.

Sent Off: Dunne (15).

Booked: Jihai.

Goals: Elano 87.

Att: 27,613

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing 8.65 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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