Boro rally to hold Magpies
Viduka scores on Boro return but Arca has the final word
Last Updated: 26/08/07 6:01pm
Mido: Scores on home debut
Middlesbrough came from behind twice to hold North East rivals Newcastle to a 2-2 draw at The Riverside and deny Mark Viduka the pleasure of scoring the winner against his former club.
Both sides struggled to find much fluency on a hot day in Teesside, but the game was illuminated by four fine goals.
Charles N'Zogbia fired The Magpies ahead in the 22nd minute as he cut in from the left and curled a superb shot into the top corner with his right foot, before Mido rounded Steve Harper to level for Boro just six minutes later.
Viduka finished from close range, after skilfully escaping from Jonathan Woodgate, to restore Newcastle's lead 13 minutes from time.
But Boro rallied once again as Arca powered home a volley from the edge of the area after 80 minutes.
Newcastle started brightly as Obafemi Martins blasted harmlessly wide after being played in by Viduka on 16 minutes and it took a vital block from George Boateng to deny Alan Smith a free shot at goal seconds later.
However, the visitors went ahead with 22 minutes gone when full-back N'Zogbia produced a moment of rare brilliance.
The Frenchman was picked out on the left by Peter Ramage, on after just six minutes for the injured Stephen Carr, and cut inside Boateng before unleashing a superb curling shot which was simply too good for keeper Mark Schwarzer.
But Boro responded swiftly and were back on terms within six minutes when Mido ran on to Fabio Rochemback's beautifully-weighted pass over the top, held off Steven Taylor and then rounded Harper to shoot into an empty net.
The goal gave Boro fresh impetus as the Magpies wilted momentarily, Harper scrambling across his goal as Rochemback's deflected shot sailed just wide and then pulling off a fine one-handed save to deny Arca.
James Milner was convinced he should have been awarded a 44th-minute penalty after David Wheater appeared to wrestle him to the ground, the midfielder's disappointment being compounded by referee Mike Dean's decision to penalise him on the advice of his assistant.
Harper had to block with his legs on 53 minutes after Mido and Jeremie Aliadiere had played Rochemback in, and David Rozehnal hacked away Downing's cross seconds later with the Teessiders establishing a momentum.
Newcastle's woes increased on 59 minutes when Ramage was carried off on a stretcher to be replaced by Claudio Cacapa, Taylor taking over at right-back.
However, it was they who almost regained the lead on 61 minutes when Viduka just failed to get a touch to N'Zogbia's inviting cross under pressure from Wheater.
But Viduka's big moment finally arrived on 77 minutes when he accepted N'Zogbia's pass, deftly turned Woodgate and after teeing the ball up, smashed a shot past the helpless Schwarzer.
However, Boro were not done and it was all square once again within three minutes when Arca latched on to a clearance and drilled a left-foot shot into the bottom corner.
Substitute Michael Owen might have won it in a frantic finish, but his flick from N'Zogbia's free-kick fell into Schwarzer's arms.
|Middlesbrough||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|5||Shots on Target||4|
|4||Shots off Target||2|
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|4||West Ham United||9||16|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||9||10|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||9||7|