Middlesbrough (Away)
Premier League

Saturday 16th August 2008


Unfortunately, due to time spent resolving the site's virus problem, there has not been time to provide a match preview.

PREDICTION : -  Middlesbrough  1   Tottenham Hotspur   1

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.




Middlesbrough   2   Tottenham Hotspur    1      (Half-time score : 0-0)

Premier League
Venue : -  Riverside Stadium
Saturday 16th August 2008
Kick Off :  3.00 p.m.
Crowd :   32,623
Referee : Martin Atkinson (Yorkshire)
Weather :  -  Dry, warm
Teams : - 
Middlesbrough :

21  Jones

31  Wheater
14  Huth
  6  Pogatetz
  3  Taylor

10  Aliadiere
15  Shawky
  4  O'Neil
19  Downing

12  Alves (  9  Mido 82)
17  Sanli (  8  Digard 72     )

Unused subs: 
21  Turnbull
11  Emnes
28  Adam Johnson
39  Williams
   -  Grounds

Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

  4  Zokora
20  Dawson
39  Woodgate
32  Assou-Ekotto (24  O'Hara 76)

  7  Lennon (  3  Bale 65)
  8  Jenas (c)     
14  Modric
  5  Bentley     
17  Giovanni (  9  Berbatov 65)

10  Bent

Unused subs: 
21  Cesar
  6  Huddlestone
16  Gunter
26  King

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  

Wheater 71
Mido 86

Tottenham Hotspur

Huth (o.g) 90

Cards : -  

Digard (foul) 90


Tottenham Hotspur 

Jenas (foul) 61
Bentley (foul) 76  


Match Report : -  
Another opening away day and another defeat, this time by 1-2 at Middlesbrough, which came in a match that Tottenham failed to click in providing the forwards with two much to feed off.

Lining up with Gomes, Giovani, Modric and David Bentley making their debuts, it was perhaps more newsworthy that striker Dimitar Berbatov was left sitting on the bench, pending his move to Manchester United.  His "professional" performance that the management feel that he put in as a sub helped inject a bit of urgency in the team and showed what we will need from his replacement.

A quick start from Boor earned a corner inside the first minute, as Spurs were caught on their heels.  Luckily, Gomes showed his early worth with a good catch and within a couple of minutes, Lennon put in a good low cross that failed to find Darren Bent and David Bentley running in, then Bentley tried a long shot that took a flick off a defender for a corner, but nothing came from that.  The pressure was going Tottenham's way, with a corner volleyed wide by Giovani, but with ten minutes gone, Gomes was called into action with a good save from Downing, although the winger's shot lacked venom.

Five minutes later a Bentley curler went wide from outside the box and when Modric played the ball out to Aaron Lennon, he put in another dangerous cross that too out the keeper, but the defence kicked it out for another corner.  The game was swinging from end to end and they broke from that corner and Benoit Assou-Ekotto did well in keeping Tuncay from having a shooting chance and when he played it square to Alves, the full-back got in a block to take the ball away from goal.  Benoit was then at the other end, throwing in a cross that Jones looked dodgy on.

Just after the half hour, Boro had the ball in the net, but it was harshly ruled out.  A corner was swung in from the right and central defender David Wheater was unmarked to thump a header past our defence.  The whistle went though, without people really knowing why, but it was reported to have been for a push by Alves.  The Brazilian striker had a chance soon after, but struck it just too high with our Brazilian keeper looking like he would have saved it had it been on target.

In the last couple of minutes of the half, both teams had chances.  Assou-Ekotto's cross just missed picking out Dos Santos and then Alves hit a shot on the turn, but it failed to have much weight behind it.

An early chance at the start of the second half could have seen Spurs snatch a goal, when Bentley fired in an effort from 25 yards and Brad Jones produced a spectacular dive to save, which was probably more than it needed.  Our next chance came just before the hour, with Bent missing an overhead kick, which always looks embarrassing when it doesn't come off.  Just after the hour, Boro were denied when Jonathan Woodgate returned to haunt his former side with a vital block when Tuncay tried a shot from a loose ball from Downing's corner.

Juande Ramos decided to make changes in the 65th minute, with Berbatov replacing Giovani and Gareth Bale coming on for Aaron Lennon on the left.  It almost worked straight away, with Berbatov slipping Jenas through to bring Jones out to save with his legs as he went through on the keeper.  This precipitated a spell of pressure, with a couple of corners and Bale's shot being blocked. 

But then a couple of minutes later, the home team took the lead.  A cross from Downing was hit fiercely towards goal on the volley by Alves.  Gomes made a fine save to push the ball onto the bar, but it dropped to Wheater, who this time found the net without the referee ruling it out, knocking it over the line from close range.

Aliadiere failed to convert a good cross, heading straight at Gomes and a move that saw Zokora fly up the line and find Berbatov, who found Bent with a back-heel and the forward's shot went agonisingly inches wide.  Than a minute later with 80 gone saw Jamie O'Hara nip between Wheater and Jones, but the keeper managed to thwart his shot.

With four minutes left, the killer goal sealed the win for Boro.  The ball was played to Digard, who didn't get a clean contact on his shot and it went across goal and found our former forward Mido, who applied the finishing touch from around 12 yards out.  It was a bitter blow as Spurs pushed for an equaliser.  

It could have got worse, as Gomes came out with Aliadiere through on goal, but luckily, the ex-Gooner chipped poorly and the opportunity had gone.  Deep into added time, Digard fouled to give Spurs a free-kick, which David Bentley swung in and found the head of Robert Huth, who headed past his own keeper to give Spurs a goal, which was little consolation.

This was a disappointing debut to the new Ramos Spurs, but it is still early days.  The team must start winning away games if they seriously want to challenge at the top of the table and they must make more of the possession they have, including making more openings for the forwards.  One up front might be required against some sides on our travels, but by taking the game to Boro, it might have been more of a problem for them to deal with out attack than vice versa.

Yes, the next game is at home against Sunderland, but already the pressure to win is there.





Reaction : -





Other scores this weekend :
Arsenal 1 West Bromwich Albion 0 Saturday
Bolton Wanderers 3 Stoke City 1 Saturday
Everton 2 Blackburn Rovers 3 Saturday
Hull City 2 Fulham 1 Saturday
Sunderland 0 Liverpool 1 Saturday
West Ham United 2 Wigan Athletic 1 Saturday
Aston Villa 4 Manchester City 2 Sunday
Chelsea 4 Portsmouth 0 Sunday
Manchester United 1 Newcastle United 1 Sunday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 1 1 0 0 4 0 3 +4
2 Aston Villa 1 1 0 0 4 2 3 +2
3 Bolton Wanderers 1 1 0 0 3 1 3 +2
4 Blackburn Rovers 1 1 0 0 3 2 3 +1
5 Hull City 1 1 0 0 2 1 3 +1
6 Middlesbrough 1 1 0 0 2 1 3 +1
7 West Ham United 1 1 0 0 2 1 3 +1
8 Arsenal 1 1 0 0 1 0 3 +1
9 Liverpool 1 1 0 0 1 0 3 +1
10 Manchester United 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0
11 Newcastle United 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0
12 Everton 1 0 0 1 2 3 0 -1
13 Fulham 1 0 0 1 1 2 0 -1
14 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 0 0 1 1 2 0 -1
15 Wigan Athletic 1 0 0 1 1 2 0 -1
16 Stoke City 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 -1
17 Sunderland 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 -1
18 West Bromwich Albion 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 -1
19 Manchester City 1 0 0 1 2 4 0 -2
20 Portsmouth 1 0 0 1 0 4 0 -4



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