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Last Updated:  Saturday, 1 March, 2003, 16:56 GMT
Juninho earns Boro point
Juninho celebrates Boro's leveller

Middlesbrough 1-1 Everton

Brazil World Cup winner Juninho made a dramatic return to Premiership action after three years to earn Middlesbrough a draw against Everton at The Riverside Stadium.

Juninho came on as a half-time substitute to make his first appearance since returning for his third spell at the club in the summer.

And he showed how he had been missed after sustaining a serious knee injury by equalising for Boro after Steve Watson had given Everton a first-half lead.

It earned a precious point for Boro, but the draw sent Everton up into fourth place to strengthen their claims for a Champions League berth.

Juninho returned on the bench after making his comeback in the reserves - and his inspiration was sorely missed as Everton controlled the first half.

The home side had plenty of possession, but created few chances and it was Everton who took the lead after 23 minutes.

Tomasz Radzinski, Everton's match-winner with two goals against Southampton, was the creator as he chased what looked like a lost cause.

Inspiration

He escaped the attentions of Chris Riggott and found Kevin Campbell.

The veteran striker set up Watson, who beat Mark Schwarzer for his sixth goal of the season.

Middlesbrough were getting little joy from resilient Everton, leaving manager Steve McClaren to take drastic action during the interval.

Juninho, Massimo Maccarone and Ugo Ehiogu came on for Riggott, Malcolm Christie and Colin Cooper.

The Brazilian sent a buzz of expectation around The Riverside every time he touched the ball, but Everton remained solid at the back.

Goalkeeper Richard Wright was hardly troubled, much to the frustration of the home crowd.

Alan Stubbs and David Weir looked solid at the back and Thomas Gravesen was working tirelessly in midfield.

But Juninho delivered what the home crowd wanted when he equalised with 16 minutes to go.

Maccarone's cross created the danger and Juninho slid in to send The Riverside wild with delight.


Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Queudrue, Riggott (Ehiogu 45), Southgate, Cooper (Juninho Paulista 45), Parnaby, Greening, Boateng, Geremi, Christie (Maccarone 45), Ricketts.
Subs Not Used: Nemeth, Crossley.

Everton: Wright, Pistone, Stubbs, Weir, Unsworth, Naysmith, Watson, Gravesen (Rooney 78), Gemmill, Radzinski, Campbell (McBride 65).
Subs Not Used: Li Tie, Yobo, Gerrard.

Attendance: 32,473

Referee: U Rennie (S Yorkshire).




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