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Saturday, 31 August, 2002, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Job snatches Boro win
Both sides wasted a host of chances
Both sides wasted a host of chances
Middlesbrough 1-0 Blackburn

A last-minute goal from substitute Joseph Desire-Job was enough to secure all three points for Middlesbrough at The Riverside.

The Cameroonian international striker capitalised on a mistake by Blackburn defender Nils-Eric Johansson, who was punished for losing possession in the penalty area.

  Key moments
7 mins: Maccarone comes close to opening the scoring
60 mins: Cole heads over
90 mins: Job scores a dramatic winner

It was a cruel blow for Blackburn, who had dominated much of the game and had been guilty of wasting a glut of chances.

Graeme Souness handed new signing David Thompson his debut and the midfielder was heavily involved as Blackburn had the best of the opening half.

But it was Middlesbrough who came closest to breaking the deadlock when Massimo Maccarone forced Brad Friedel into a diving save after a well-constructed move.

At the other end Middlesbrough's defence looked shaky and Ugo Ehiogu was lucky to survive two mis-kicks in the first 15 minutes with Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole looming.

The centre-back made up for both errors soon afterwards though, with crucial blocks to deny first Yorke and then Cole in quick succession.

Cole had another good chance to score when Dunn's astute pass opened up the defence, but the Rovers striker flashed his shot high.

Marinelli wasted a good opportunity in the 35th minute after Alen Boksic found the winger unmarked on the edge of the area.

Blackburn midfileder David Thompson was impressive on his debut
Thompson was impressive on his debut

The young Argentine had plenty of time but his first-time strike went horribly over the bar.

Four minutes before the break, Cole's movement earned him room to fire an effort on target only to see Schwarzer brilliantly turn the ball out for a corner.

Schwarzer was the saviour again when Duff rampaged down the right, cut in past Queudrue and drove in a powerful left foot shot straight at the Boro keeper.

Boro boss Steve McClaren attempted to change things at half-time, switching to a 3-5-2 formation and replacing the disappointing Marinelli with Colin Cooper.

But Blackburn continued to dominate and Cole was guilty of another wasted opportunity on the hour mark when he failed to direct his header on target after great work by Duff on the left.

Boro forced Blackburn onto the back foot as they chased a late winner.

And with just a minute left to play, Geremi seized on Johansson's mistake before firing in a wicked cross from the byline that was met by the unmarked Job.


Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Queudrue, Southgate, Ehiogu, Stockdale, Marinelli, Geremi, Boateng, Greening, Boksic, Maccarone.
Subs: Crossley, Cooper, Wilson, Job, Whelan.

Booked: Boateng, Geremi, Stockdale

Blackburn: Friedel, Johansson, Taylor, Short, Neill, Duff, Flitcroft, Thompson, Dunn, Cole, Yorke.
Subs: Kelly, Hignett, Grabbi, Berg, Tugay.

Booked: Johansson, Dunn, Thompson

Attendance: 28,270

Referee: M Halsey (Lancashire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Alan Biggs
"Boro can consider themselves lucky"
Boro boss Steve McLaren
"The result was more important"
Blackburn's Craig Short
"Even with a point we would have felt we'd been robbed"
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