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Saturday, 9 November, 2002, 16:55 GMT
Boro sink Liverpool
Middlesbrough's George Boateng and Jonathan Greening surround Liverpool's Salif Diao
Liverpool had won their previous seven league games
Middlesbrough 1-0 Liverpool

Middlesbrough's Gareth Southgate ended Liverpool's unbeaten league record as the leader's Premiership advantage was cut to a single point.

The England international defender scrambled the ball home late in the game after Liverpool keeper Jerzy Dudek let slip a high ball.


I think on the day we were not as good as we can be - we have to admit that
Gerard Houllier,
Liverpool manager
With Emile Heskey deployed on the left and Michael Owen isolated in attack, Liverpool struggled to create many chances and paid the price for an overly cautious defensive approach.

Southgate's goal provoked a more offensive approach from Liverpool and Heskey went close, but time was against Houllier's side.

From the opening whistle Middlesbrough adopted a more ambitious attacking strategy.

Geremi climbed high above John Arne Riise but headed into the side-netting.

Gareth Southgate scores for Middlesbrough in the 1-0 win over Liverpool
Middlesbrough had not won in a month
Geremi was a useful outlet for McClaren's side and it was from one of the Cameroonian's crosses that Massimo Maccarone tried a back-heel towards goal.

In the second-half the Italian had the ball in the net, but the flag was up well before Maccarone slotted past Dudek from point-blank range.

George Boateng also whistled a right-foot effort wide.


If anyone was going to win that game it was us, we deserved it
Steve McClaren,
Boro manager
The Dutchman was guilty of over-elaborating when his long ball to Geremi was cut out by Heskey, who raced away before firing into Mark Schwarzer's arms from 25 yards.

Schwarzer then did well to save Steven Gerrard's smartly struck shot.

In a classic breakaway, Liverpool broke swiftly though Dietmar Hamann, Owen transferred the ball out to Gerrard, before sprinting into the box to collect his cross.

Southgate strikes

Southgate slipped as he attempted to challenge - but Owen hooked his effort wide.

Southgate lost his footing for a second time to allow Gerrard to head a deep free-kick towards Owen six yards out but Ugo Ehiogu did enough to to thwart the England international.

But it was Boro who struck eight minutes from time, Dudek failing to hold a high corner and Southgate sliding home.

Liverpool will now turn their attention to Tuesday's decisive Champions League game against Basle, who they need to beat to reach the last 16.


Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Parnaby, Ehiogu, Southgate, Vidmar, Geremi, Boateng, Job, Greening, Maccarone (Boksic 70), Nemeth (Wilkshire 86).
Subs Not Used: Crossley, Cooper, Whelan.

Booked: Boksic.

Liverpool: Dudek, Carragher, Traore, Hyypia, Riise, Diao, Gerrard (Smicer 68), Hamann, Murphy (Baros 86), Heskey, Owen.
Subs Not Used: Babbel, Kirkland, Biscan.

Attendance: 34,747

Referee: M Halsey (Lancashire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Steve Wilson
"Liverpool only have themselves to blame"
Boro boss Steve McClaren
"The performance was magnificant"
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