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Barclays Premier League

Riverside Stadium (ATT 28,875) 26th August 2007 - Kick off 13:30 Ref: M Dean

M'boro Middlesbrough vs Newcastle United Newcastle

M'boro 2

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Boro rally to hold Magpies

Viduka scores on Boro return but Arca has the final word

Last Updated: 26/08/07 6:01pm

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Mido: Scores on home debut

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.

Vital block

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.

Big moment

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.

MiddlesbroughTeam StatisticsNewcastle United
2Goals2
11st Half Goals1
5Shots on Target4
4Shots off Target2
2Blocked Shots3
5Corners2
13Fouls14
3Offsides4
6Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards0
76.1Passing Success65.4
20Tackles24
90Tackles Success58.3
55.8Possession44.2
51.1Territorial Advantage48.9

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 18 45
2 Manchester City 18 42
3 Manchester United 18 35
4 Southampton 18 32
5 West Ham United 18 31
6 Arsenal 18 30
7 Tottenham Hotspur 18 30
8 Swansea City 18 28
9 Liverpool 18 25
10 Newcastle United 18 23
11 Stoke City 18 22
12 Everton 18 21
13 Aston Villa 18 20
14 Sunderland 18 19
15 West Bromwich Albion 18 17
16 Queens Park Rangers 18 17
17 Hull City 18 16
18 Crystal Palace 18 15
19 Burnley 18 15
20 Leicester City 18 10

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