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Middlesbrough's Terry Venables
"My first decision was to call it a day"
 real 56k

BBC Sport's Alan Biggs
"Boro' deserved to win"
 real 14k

Saturday, 19 May, 2001, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Karembeu winner sinks Hammers
Svetoslav Todorov slots past Mark Schwarzer
Svetoslav Todorov scored West Ham's only goal
Middlesbrough 2-1 West Ham

Middlesbrough inflicted more misery on managerless West Ham after a well-earned victory at the Riverside Stadium.

A superb individual goal from Christian Karembeu proved to be the decisive moment which earned the home side three points.

But uncertainty over the future of Terry Venables' future on Teesside marred the end-of-season victory for the home side.

For West Ham, the defeat compounds their woes further as the speculation for Harry Redknapp's successor intensifies.

  Key moments
21 mins: Joseph Desire-Job squeezes home from a tight angle
31 mins: Svetoslav Todorov equalises after good work from Joe Cole
38 mins: Federic Kanoute is denied by Mark Schwarzer
45 mins: Christian Karembeu scores a superb individual goal
80 mins: Job heads just wide of Schwarzer's right post

The first half followed no particular pattern as both sides failed to impose their authority on the game.

It wasn't exactly end-to-end stuff, but both sides managed to create chances despite the lack of fluidity in midfield.

And it was Middlesbrough who drew first blood when Paul Ince's perfectly weighted through ball found Joseph-Desire Job in space on 21 minutes.

His initial touch was partially saved by the onrushing Hislop, but the Cameroon international managed to compose himself and squeeze the ball home from a tight angle for only his third goal in a Middlesbrough shirt.

But the Hammers pulled level with a well-crafted goal conjured by the genius of Joe Cole on 31 minutes.

The midfielder used his superb close ball control skills to skip past two defenders to slip the ball across to Svetoslav Todorov, who made no mistake from 12 yards out.

It was the Bulgarian's first goal in the Premiership and he should have followed it with his second, but blazed a gilt-edged opportunity high over Mark Schwarzer's goal from eight yards.

Frederic Kanoute was denied by an excellent low save from Schwarzer before Boro took the lead with a superb individual goal crafted by Christian Karembeu.

Joseph-Desire Job in action
Job was a handful for the Hammers defence
He latched onto Brian Deane's flick-on and then thundered a ferocious strike from the right edge of the 18-yard box to leave Shaka Hislop no chance.

Stern words from caretaker manager Glenn Roeder must have had an effect as West Ham began the second half brightly.

But again Todorov missed another good opportunity within the opening minutes of the interval when he shot past the right post.

That miss proved to be the last chance for Todorov, who was substituted by Jermain Defoe for the teennager's first Premiership appearance.

Hislop came to West Ham's rescue in the 70th minute when he saved a low, skidding Ince shot from the edge of the box.

But Middlesbrough eventually held for the victory - but it could prove to be Venables' last.

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Gavin, Ehiogu, Vickers, Cooper, Karembeu, Okon, Ince, Marinelli, Job, Windass. Subs: Crossley, Deane, Stockdale, Summerbell, Hudson.

West Ham: Hislop, Stuart Pearce, Foxe, Schemmel, Minto, Song, Cole, Carrick, Dailly, Kanoute, Todorov. Subs: Bywater, Soma, McCann, Defoe, Byrne.

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset)

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24 Jan 01 |  Bournemouth
Defoe's perfect ten
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