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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 September 2006, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Middlesbrough 0-1 Blackburn
Shabani Nonda celebrates his winning goal for Blackburn
Shabani Nonda celebrates his winning goal for Blackburn
Shabani Nonda's first Premiership goal sealed three points for Blackburn against a disappointing Middlesbrough.

Nonda - on a season-long loan from AS Roma - rose at the far post to head home David Bentley's cross after 27 minutes for the winner.

Boro struggled to create any serious threat, although new signing Jason Euell missed two first-half chances.

Yakubu shot narrowly wide after the break, but Boro keeper Mark Schwarzer also saved well from Brett Emerton.

Middlesbrough recalled captain Jonathan Woodgate for his first appearance at the Riverside since he arrived on loan from Real Madrid.

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But as Middlesbrough attempted to regain momentum after their shock midweek Carling Cup exit at home to Notts County, Blackburn took the lead after 27 minutes.

David Bentley's floated long cross to the far post was met by Nonda, who jumped to head powerfully past Boro keeper Schwarzer.

New signing Euell then had two chance to restore equality, but was guilty of wasting both.

He met Gaizka Mendieta's cross with a desperately tame header when unmarked, then steered Fabio Rochemback's through ball wide with only Brad Friedel to beat.

Boro departed at half-time with the fury of their fans ringing in their ears - and manager Gareth Southgate responded with a bold double substitution.

He sent on Lee Cattermole for Mendieta and introduced Mark Viduka for James Morrison.

It was a move that had minimal effect, and Euell's afternoon of frustration continued when he was deservedly booked for a foul on Brett Emerton.

Yakubu posed the first serious threat to Blackburn after the break with an angled shot from Yakubu that flew inches wide with Friedel beaten, Viduka just failing to add a vital touch.

Boro had enjoyed plenty of territory and possession, but lacked a cutting edge, and when more good work from Yakubu created an opening, Viduka could only lift his finish high over the top.

As the home side pressed, Blackburn almost broke forward to add a second, with Schwarzer diving low to his right to save well from fellow Australian international Emerton.


  • Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate:
    "We were lacking in passion in the first half. It is the first time I have had to question the attitude.

    "The first-half display cost us the game. We made it comfortable for them, and they got one goal and could have been a couple ahead.

    "The general trend of the game was that they had the upper hand."

  • Blackburn manager Mark Hughes:
    "I was delighted to see Shabani Nonda get his first goal. His movement and work ethic was a joy to behold.

    "He's not as fit as he might be at the moment and the intensity of the football in the Premiership is different to what he is used to, but the way he applied himself caused Middlesbrough problems all day.

    "I thought Andre Ooijer was really commanding and was excellent throughout. He gave us a real platform."


    Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Davies (Johnson 83), Woodgate, Pogatetz, Taylor, Parnaby, Morrison (Viduka 45), Euell, Rochemback, Mendieta (Cattermole 45), Yakubu.
    Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Bates.

    Booked: Euell.

    Blackburn: Friedel, Emerton, Ooijer, Khizanishvili, Neill, Bentley, Savage, Tugay (Mokoena 76), Pedersen (Gray 90), McCarthy (Gallagher 85), Nonda.
    Subs Not Used: Brown, Peter.

    Booked: Tugay, McCarthy, Bentley.

    Goals: Nonda 27.

    Att: 24,959

    Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

    SEE ALSO
    Saturday's football photos
    23 Sep 06 |  Football


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