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Last Updated:  Saturday, 15 March, 2003, 16:55 GMT
Boro pile on Leeds misery
Brazilian midfielder Juninho celebrates scoring Middlesbrough's second
Juninho's goal was the pick of the bunch
Leeds 2-3 Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough's sharp finishing made it a sorry end to a bad week for Leeds and Terry Venables.

After falling behind to Mark Viduka's goal, the visitors hit back with a penalty from Massimo Maccarone and long-range strikes from Juninho and Geremi.

A second Viduka goal made the scoreline look close, although in truth, the visitors were let down only by the performance of Mark Schwarzer, who made errors for both Leeds goals.

The score means that Leeds remain too close to the bottom of the table for their own comfort, with Venables having seen his side knocked out of the FA Cup and lose at home in a dreadful seven-day period.

For Boro, their recent resurgence has guaranteed their Premiership status this campaign and given them an outside chance of a Uefa Cup place for next season.

24 mins: Viduka taps in
36 mins: Maccarone slots home penalty
45 mins: Juninho smashes in from 25 yards
64 mins: Geremi lobs Robinson
76 mins: Viduka gets his second after Schwarzer's mistake

The game started at a brisk pace, with Middlesbrough going very close in the opening minute and Lucas Radebe making two important clearances.

Having survived that early pressure, Leeds took a 24th-minute lead, with Viduka capitalising on hesitancy from both George Boateng and Schwarzer to score his 10th goal of the season.

Nick Barmby, who had wasted an earlier chance, began the move with a ball to Viduka, who subsequently played a one-two with Eirik Bakke on the edge of the area.

Bakke's pass should have been intercepted by either Boateng or Schwarzer, but the pair contrived to miss the ball completely, allowing the Leeds striker to steal in and prod the ball home.

The visitors were level 12 minutes later, with Maccarone slotting home a penalty he had won after being blatantly tripped by Radebe.

A fingertip save by Schwarzer from Wilcox's 20-yard effort in the first of three minutes of injury time denied Leeds the chance to lead again.

And the importance of that save was underlined quickly.

The recently-returned Juninho, afforded a lot of space by the home defence, struck an unstoppable shot from 25 yards with his right foot, the ball blasting into the net just seconds before the half-time whistle.

Things went from bad to worse for Leeds as Boro added a third in the 64th minute, with on-loan midfielder Geremi lobbing Paul Robinson from 25 yards with a sublime shot.

That goal was the cue for the home fans to taunt chairman Peter Ridsdale, who is clearly seen as the source of Leeds' troubles.

Venables made his first gamble of the day when he replaced Barmby with wonderkid James Milner.

And Viduka's second came after the youngster's shot was badly handled by Schwarzer, leaving the Australian striker with another tap-in.

Leeds: Robinson, Mills, Radebe, Lucic, Bravo, Barmby (Milner 68), Okon, Bakke, Wilcox, Viduka, Smith.
Subs Not Used: Martyn, Harte, McMaster, Kilgallon.

Booked: Okon, Radebe, Mills.

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Parnaby (Cooper 41), Ehiogu, Southgate, Murphy, Geremi, Boateng, Greening, Juninho Paulista, Christie (Nemeth 85), Maccarone (Ricketts 80).
Subs Not Used: Jones, Job.

Booked: Maccarone, Juninho Paulista.

Attendance: 39,073.

Referee: D Elleray (Middlesex).

Leeds manager Terry Venables
"I felt we deserved a draw"

Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren
"Juninho's work-rate is an inspiration"



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