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banner Saturday, 26 January, 2002, 15:35 GMT
Boro sink Man Utd
Solskjaer (right) and Wallwork at The Riverside
Boro improved after a disappointing first-half display
Middlesbrough 2-0 Manchester United
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Late strikes from Noel Whelan and Andy Campbell sent Manchester United crashing out of the FA Cup at the fourth-round stage for the second straight year.

Under-fire Red Devils defender Laurent Blanc was guilty of another lapse, allowing Whelan to steal in behind him to score Middlesbrough's first goal on 84 minutes.

And Campbell sealed a dramatic victory from a Dean Windass cross at a sparsely populated Riverside Stadium.

Few turned up to watch the match at the Riverside
A crowd of 17,624 watched the match at the Riverside

The home side were forced to weather an early storm, despite Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to rest David Beckham and Juan Sebastian Veron.

He also left Ryan Giggs and lethal striker Ruud van Nistelrooy on the bench.

The visitors almost scored in the second minute when Roy Keane broke down the right flank and watched his cross-shot come back off the post.

Then, from an Ole Gunnar Solskjaer corner, Ronnie Wallwork - recalled to midfield - headed powerfully goalwards only to see his effort cleared off the line by Robbie Mustoe.

  Key Riverside action
7mins: Wallwork's header is cleared off the Boro line
46mins: A Wilson strike tests Barthez at last
84mins: Blanc blunders and Whelan puts Boro ahead
88mins: Campbell strikes to sink United
In the absence of Giggs, French defender Mikael Silvestre was encouraged to gallop down the United left.

And he posed his share of problems, peppering the Boro area with crosses that narrowly evaded his team-mates.

If United lacked a finishing touch, Middlesbrough's attack, spearheaded by the makeshift partnership of Windass and Noel Whelan, barely created a first-half chance.

But that changed after the break.

Steve McLaren's team talk appeared to inject new ambition and belief into his side.

And substitute Mark Wilson, appearing against his former club, tested Fabian Barthez immediately with a stinging drive, before Windass forced a sharp save on 51 minutes.


We defended very well, got a slice of luck and took our opportunities - it's a terrific win
Steve McLaren
Moments later, Colin Cooper's bending free-kick was deflected inches wide.

United always threatened at the other end.

Paul Scholes should have scored from 10 yards out. And then, on 66 minutes, Mustoe again cleared off the line from a well-timed Silvestre header.

Ferguson threw on Van Nistelrooy, Giggs and Dwight Yorke - who has been linked to a move to Boro - but none of them could spark the last-gasp heroics that lifted United past Aston Villa in round three.

Instead, the golden chances fell to Middlesbrough.


We should have won that game, we know that and I think everyone else knows that
Sir Alex Ferguson
And when Blanc misjudged a Mark Crossley goal kick, inviting Whelan to slot past Barthez and Campbell headed home five minutes later, there was to be no late reprieve for Manchester United.

For Boro, the only dampening note - on a day when many games were lost to waterlogged pitches - was the game's attendance of only 17,624.

This paltry support may not have impressed would-be signee Yorke and reflects badly on the comeptition as a whole.


Middlesbrough: Crossley, Southgate, Cooper, Queudrue, Stockdale, Greening, Mustoe, Johnston, Marinelli, Windass, Whelan. Subs: Beresford, Campbell, Ricard, Wilson, Gavin.

Man Utd: Barthez, Gary Neville, Blanc, Phil Neville, Silvestre, Wallwork, Keane, Butt, Chadwick, Scholes, Solskjaer. Subs: van Nistelrooy, Giggs, Carroll, Yorke, O'Shea.

Referee: M Halsey (Welwyn Garden City)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Mike Ingham
"No one could have predicted this one at half-time"
Middlesbrough boss Steve McLaren
"We took the game to them and created a bit of passion"
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"It was a shoddy, careless performance"
Links to more FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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