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BBC Sport's Peter Slater
"Organised talent can prosper"
 real 14k

Middlesbrough head coach Terry Venables
"I think we got a bit nervous"
 real 56k

Saturday, 3 February, 2001, 18:53 GMT
Cooper pegs back City
Alen Boksic and Richard Dunne in action
Boksic's trickery was a constant threat for Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough 1-1 Man City

Middlesbrough and Manchester City shared the spoils in an absorbing contest at the Riverside, tainted only by Keith O'Neill's sending off in the closing stages.

O'Neill saw red for a wild challenge on Gerard Wiekens as both teams battled valiantly looking for a late winner.

Steve Vickers had handed the visitors the lead by playing into his own net, but his blushes were saved when Colin Cooper smashed home the equaliser in the second half.

Terry Venables' undefeated run at Boro now stands at 10 matches but the home side were made to work hard by an impressive Manchester City side defying their lowly league position.

  Key moments:
4 mins: Ricard shoots at Weaver
7: Ince's shot well saved
9: Tiatto's goal ruled offside
29: Vickers plays ball in own net
45: O'Neill is close to equalising
62: Cooper buries the ball in the net
77: O'Neill's free-kick is driven just wide
86: O'Neill sent off for challenge on Wiekens

Both teams attacked with zest straight from the whistle and Hamilton Ricard came close to open the scoring after just four minutes.

His low shot was held by Nicky Weaver, but the impressive Paul Ince was soon proving a handful in the opponent's half.

A breathtaking back-heel from Alen Boksic created the space and the former England skipper blasted his shot at the keeper.

The visitors were moving forward brightly and were unlucky not to take the lead after nine minutes.

The energetic Danny Tiatto forged into Middlesbrough's penalty box and coolly slotted the ball into the net.


I'm frustrated, exasperated, puzzled... The goal of the month has been disallowed. The video replay should embarrass the referee for the rest of his career
  Joe Royle
Manchester City boss

His jubilation turned to anguish as the linesman's flag was raised after Darren Huckerby had carelessly strayed into an offside position.

The excitement continued and Andrei Kanchelskis, appearing in the Premiership for the first time since January 1997, should have done better after quarter of an hour.

After a penetrating run from Huckerby on the left he crossed to the unmarked Ukrainian, but the ball stuck in the mud.

The home side were though soon undone in bizarre circumstances.


We were so good in the opening 20 minutes, everybody was throwing themselves forward
  Boro coach Terry Venables

Kanchelskis created the opening from the right and without a colleague in sight, his seemingly harmless cross was turned in by the unfortunate Vickers.

The home side worked relentlessly to draw level and had several excellent opportunities to satisfy the home support, with O'Neill's shot shaving the post on the stroke of half-time.

The second half begun in similarly lively fashion and Middlesbrough's persistence finally paid off.

Ugo Ehiogu's header from O'Neill's inswinging corner rebounded to Cooper lurking on the penalty spot.

Andrei Kanchelskis
Kanchelskis impressed for Man City

Middlesbrough were level as the defender forced the ball through a crowd of players to score his second in just a week.

Both teams continued to push forward and Middlesbrough almost stole the points with a free-kick from O'Neill curling inches wide.

O'Neill was then involved in more unsavoury circumstances in the final minutes as the referee was unhappy with a high leap at Wiekens.


Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Cooper, Vickers, Ehiogu, Fleming, O'Neill, Karembeu, Ince, Okon, Ricard, Boksic
Subs: Festa, Mustoe, Campbell, Crossley, Whelan

Man City: Weaver, Granville, Howey, Dunne, Tiatto, Wiekens, Haaland, Whitley, Kanchelskis, Goater, Huckerby
Subs: Prior, Ritchie, Nash, Grant, Wright-Phillips

Referee: A Wiley (Burntwood)

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