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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 October, 2004, 20:06 GMT 21:06 UK
Tackling Skills with BBC Sport - Man Utd v Boro
BBC Sport has teamed up with the Foyer Federation to bring you the best sports reports from budding young journalists around the country.

Tackling Skills is a project that gives Foyers residents the chance to work with BBC sports journalists to help develop their literacy and communication skills by using sport to inspire, motivate and re-engage them .

Here's a selection of reports from Old Trafford as Manchester United draw 1-1 with Middlesbrough.


Ahmed Abdi

In the first half Middlesbrough produced a performance worthy of all three points and seemed set for victory.

In terms of corners, free-kicks and attacks it was the Teessiders who were ahead from the start and Stuart Downing opened the scoring in the 33rd minute to give the visitors an early lead.

However, Manchester United equalised late in the second half thanks to a great goal by substitute Alan Smith.

After 90 minutes of hard work, Middlesbrough may feel they were robbed in what was a bad-tempered game. As for United, if they want to win the Premiership they will have to do better than they did today.


Nadine Walker

This was a disappointing result for Manchester United after their 6-2 win earlier in the week against Turkish team Fenerbahce.

Middlesbrough's defence proved too strong for the repetitive attacks of the Red Devils and the visitors saw themselves a goal up at half-time after a second attempt from a persistent Stuart Downing proved successful.

Wayne Rooney - somewhat unsurprisingly - failed to match his debut performance and faced heavy resistance from the Teessiders.

Twenty minutes into the second half, Alan Smith replaced a disappointing John O'Shea and the substitute shone.

With just nine minutes left on the clock Smith scored the equalising goal and earned United a much-needed point.

However United will be ruing their missed opportunities - Gabriel Heinze and Cristiano Ronaldo went close on several occasions but failed to find the back of the net.

Heinze sent a free-kick wide while Ronaldo blasted a shot over the crossbar 15 minutes from time. Gary Neville also failed to score a winner with five minutes to go.

Neither side managed to take advantage of the four minutes of added time and the game ended in a draw.


Sheree Campbell

Manchester United could only manage a draw at Old Trafford today following some good defensive work from Middlesbrough.

The visitors started brightly and took the lead in the 35th minute thanks to a Stuart Downing goal.

The home side fought back but try as they might, were unable to break down Middlesbrough's impressive defensive system.

It was substitute Alan Smith who eventually forced the equaliser for Alex Ferguson's side only nine minutes from time.

Both sides were below full strength and should be relieved to have come away with a point.

But with table-toppers Arsenal already nine points ahead of the Red Devils, single points will not win United the Premiership this season.


Craig Jackson

After Tuesday's 6-2 win in the Champions League Manchester United were brought back down to earth by a Middlesbrough side that refused to be intimidated.

Even though the home side seemed to dominate the beginning of the game, Boro soon settled and found a way through United's solid back four, the Teessiders going one-nil up after Stuart Downing got on the end of a James Morrison cross.

United had plenty of chances in the first half but no matter how hard they tried, were unable to convert any of them.

Boro's defence did a good job of keeping both Van Nistelrooy and new boy Rooney out of the game and keeper Mark Schwarzer - playing his 300th game in English football - was rarely tested.

The visitors came out confident after the break and kept in control of the game, but all that was to change when Alan Smith replaced John O'Shea for United in the 68th minute.

Almost immediately Smith gave United more attacking options and in the 81st minute Smith netted the equaliser to secure a point for United in front of a Premiership-record crowd of 67,188.

But despite four minutes of extra time, the Red Devils could not find a winner.

Both teams turned in a solid performance but lacked the final touch to finish off the game and managers Alex Ferguson and Steve McClaren should be happy with a point apiece.



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