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Saturday, 30 March, 2002, 19:25 GMT
Boro held by Spurs
Middlesbrough man-of-the-match Benito Carbone and goalscorer Franck Queuedrue celebrate
Boro play-maker Carbone congratulates Queuedrue
Middlesbrough 1-1 Tottenham
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Franck Queudrue's clinical free-kick rescued a point for Middlesbrough as Tottenham brought them back down to earth with a bump at the Riverside.

Boro were in buoyant mood following their win over Manchester United the previous week and knew that victory would take them above Spurs and dispel any lingering relegation fears.

  Key moments
32 mins: Iversen fires home from close-range following Etherington cross
48 mins: Boro penalty claims denied after King handles
54 mins: Poyet heads against crossbar
69 mins: Quedrue curls home 20-yard free kick for equaliser
But Steve McClaren's side found themselves facing an uphill battle as Spurs wrestled the advantage.

In a first half of few chances, the home side enjoyed the better possession but carried surprisingly little cutting edge up front.

And when their usually reliable defence went to sleep midway through the half, Boro were punished as Spurs edged ahead.

Matthew Etherington's teasing cross was missed by Ugo Ehiogu and Gareth Southgate and the ball fell kindly to Steffen Iversen at the far post.

The midfielder had the simplest of tasks to control and power a close-range shot past the helpless Mark Crossley.

Iversen might have claimed a second seven minutes before the break when he beat Crossley to the ball as he rushed from his area.


It was a nearly performance - we were nearly in and were only half a yard away
Steve McClaren
The Norwegian flicked the ball beyond the Boro keeper but saw his weak shot blocked by the back-tracking Ehiogu.

In between those two Iversen chances, Benito Carbone volleyed into the side netting after Alen Boksic's persistence had resulted in an inviting cross from the Croatian international.

Carbone was Boro's liveliest outlet and had threatened inside five minutes with a long-range shot that deflected over off the head of Ben Thatcher.

And it was Carbone's chipped pass early in the second half that should have resulted in a penalty for the home side.

Ledley King clearly handled under pressure from Boksic, but referee Phil Dowd waved away the striker's frantic penalty appeals.

Spurs scorer Steffen Iversen celebrates his goal
Iversen celebrates Spurs' opener
And Boro nearly had salt rubbed in the wound two minutes later when Gus Poyet twice came close to doubling Spurs' advantage.

First, the Uruguayan saw his close-range shot superbly blocked by Crossley after Iversen had picked him out.

Then, from the resulting Darren Anderton corner, Poyet's flicked header crashed against the crossbar with Crossley motionless.

But the home side finally got a lucky break in the 69th minute.

Boksic won a free kick just outside the penalty area, despite tumbling theatrically under an inocuous challenge by Anthony Gardner.

But, after the injustice of their earlier penalty claims, there were no red faces among the Boro celebrations as Queudrue bent home the free-kick from 20 yards.


We're very pleased with the way we played - that's two decent performances back-to-back away from home
Glenn Hoddle
The equaliser was no more than Boro deserved and Carbone, on loan from Bradford until the end of the season, remained instrumental as the home side attempted to translate a point into three.

His trickery forced Chris Perry into a clumsy challenge which earned Chris Perry a yellow card, but Carbone's delivery from the resulting free kick was disappointing.

Substitute Teddy Sheringham nearly carved out a late winner but Boro frantically cleared their lines to deny the visitors what would have been a harsh postscript.


Middlesbrough: Crossley, Southgate, Ehiogu, Stockdale, Queudrue, Mustoe, Greening, Wilkshire, Whelan, Carbone, Boksic. Subs: Beresford, Windass, Marinelli, Gavin, Murphy.

Tottenham: Keller, Perry, Thatcher, King, Gardner, Anderton, Sherwood, Poyet, Etherington, Iversen, Rebrov. Subs: Sheringham, Herschfeld, Clemence, Davies, Richards.

Referee: P Dowd (Stoke-on-Trent)

Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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