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Wednesday, 6 March, 2002, 21:40 GMT
Saints and Boro share spoils
Southampton's Anders Svensson
Anders Svensson grabbed his fifth of the season
Southampton 1-1 Middlesbrough
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Southampton's Anders Svensson and Middlesbrough's Noel Whelan swapped strikes either side of half-time in an entertaining draw at St Mary's.

The point though did not aid either side in their survival fight, and both are now just six points clear of third from bottom Blackburn Rovers.

Svensson had opened the scoring in the 39th minute with an easy finish from six yards after good work from Saints new signing Brett Ormerod.

  Key moments
24 mins: Festa heads over for Boro
39 mins: Svensson taps home for Saints
56 mins: Boro's Whelan slots equaliser
60 mins: Boro's Festa gets straight red card
Minutes after Whelan's 56th minute equaliser however, Boro defender Gianluca Festa received his marching orders for a professional foul on Saints skipper Chris Marsden.

Whelan's equaliser came as the away side started the second half brilliantly, but after Festa was dismissed during Boro's best spell of the match, it was an uphill struggle.

Ormerod nearly added to his season's tally in the first minute, but he scuffed his low drilled shot well wide of Boro goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer's upright.

A minute later, after a fine Saints move, Kevin Davies crossed but Rory Delap could not keep his header on target when very well-placed.


Our back four had been making mistakes throughout the whole game and getting away with it
Steve McClaren
Boro manager
Moments later Luke Wilkshire, an Australian making his Boro debut in place of the injured Paul Ince, just failed to reach a Jonathan Greening centre.

Midway through the first period Boro carved out their first real opportunity.

Festa rose unmarked from a Benito Carbone corner but he could not keep the ball down and on target to trouble Saints keeper Paul Jones.

Boro began to crawl their way back into the game towards the end of an even first half - but it was the home side who went ahead six minutes before the break.

Saints' Rory Delap and Boro's Luke Wilkshire
Delap's shot is blocked by Boro debutant Wilkshire
Excellent work by Ormerod on the left flank created space to get behind Ugo Ehiogu and reach the Boro byline.

Ormerod looked up and picked out Svensson perfectly six yards from goal. The Swede had the simple task of rapping the ball past an exposed Schwarzer.

In the 56th minute Boro equalised. Carbone, involved in everything for Boro, won possession and crossed for Whelan.

The unmarked Whelan delightfully struck the ball into the opposite corner of the net with his right foot.


We did enough to win the match but couldn't quite find the final product
Gordon Strachan
Southampton boss
The away side's delight was short-lived though as four minutes later Festa pulled back Marsden who was threatening to slip clear of the Boro rearguard.

Referee Uriah Rennie had no option but to issue his first Premiership red card of the season and send the Italian off.

Saints substitute Marian Pahars came closest to taking all three points at the death but his shot was magnificently saved by Schwarzer.


Southampton: Jones, Telfer, Bridge, Lundekvam, Williams, Oakley, Marsden, Svensson, Delap, Ormerod, Davies.

Subs: Moss, Monk, Tessem, Pahars, Fernandes.

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Festa, Queudrue, Southgate, Ehiogu, Greening, Mustoe, Wilkshire, Whelan, Boksic, Carbone.

Subs: Crossley, Nemeth, Windass, Debeve, Stockdale.

Referee: U Rennie (Sheffield)

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Simon Mann
"Once Festa was dismissed, Boro sat back"
Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren
"We never have an easy game here"
Southampton boss Gordon Strachan
"At no point were we going to lose that game"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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