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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 August 2007, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Middlesbrough 2-2 Newcastle
By Julian Shea

Julio Arca
Arca's volley earned Boro a deserved point
Julio Arca's delicate volley earned Middlesbrough a point after they twice came from behind against Newcastle.

Charles N'Zogbia gave Newcastle a brief lead with a stunning curling shot into the top corner, before Mido rounded Steve Harper to equalise.

Former Boro player Mark Viduka's first goal for Newcastle came when he controlled Geremi's cross, turned and shot low into the corner.

But Arca earned a draw as he volleyed home a poor headed clearance.

After a start which was farcically delayed as the teams waited for a ball, the visitors took the early initiative, with Obafemi Martins firing just wide from Viduka's long ball, and Alan Smith being denied a shot by George Boateng's perfectly-timed tackle.


Newcastle deservedly took the lead on 22 minutes when N'Zogbia cut in from the left wing, shrugged off two challenges and hit a stunning shot high into the top-left corner of Mark Schwarzer's net.

But just minutes later Mido marked his home debut with a goal when he latched onto Rochemback's pass and took it round Steve Harper.

The goal sparked Boro to life as first Rochemback and then Arca came within inches of adding a quick second.

Harper turned Rochemback's low long-range effort round the post, and then had to keep his wits about him to keep out Arca's shot through a crowded penalty box.

Rochemback in particular was a constant threat to Newcastle's goal, setting up chances and trying his own luck as the game picked up after a slow start.

Having lost Steven Carr to injury early on, Newcastle's predicament grew worse when his replacement Peter Ramage was stretchered off with what looked like a knee ligament injury.

The second half was a scrappy affair, which just served to highlight Viduka's moment of class as he put Newcastle in front.

Geremi crossed from the left and the Australian out-muscled Jonathan Woodgate to trap the ball, turn and shoot low into the net.

But once again the lead was short-lived as Arca took advantage of a half-hearted headed clearance and levelled with a precisely-placed volley from the edge of the box.

With five minutes of stoppage time added on after a stop-start game, both sides had chances to go for the win, but a draw was a deserved outcome.

  • Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate:

  • "It shows the character in our side because we came from behind twice.

    "Luke Young and Jonathan Woodgate shouldn't have been playing today, they put their bodies on the line for the team and that's a good sign as far as I'm concerned.

    "It was a big statement for us, we've got players who believe in what we're doing and are prepared to sacrifice their own well-being and go in not fully prepared.

    "As a manager that's fantastic to have in the squad."

  • Newcastle assistant manager Nigel Pearson:

  • "We need to be able to close out, that's the most disappointing thing, we didn't take advantage of the situation we got ourselves into.

    "When you play derbies, they're very rarely flowing football, we got ahead twice & didn't capitalise.

    "The players are doing ok, they're getting used to the new regime. Things take time and obviously we'd like to be a bit further ahead but look at the positives, we're still unbeaten.

    "We'd like a couple more points on the board, it's a solid start without being spectacular."

    Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Young, Woodgate, Wheater, Taylor, Boateng (Cattermole 83), Rochemback, Arca, Downing, Mido, Aliadiere (Sanli 73).
    Subs Not Used: Jones, Lee, Hines.

    Booked: Mido, Woodgate, Young, Wheater, Rochemback, Sanli.

    Goals: Mido 28, Arca 80.

    Newcastle: Harper, Carr (Ramage 6), Taylor, Rozehnal, N'Zogbia, Butt, Geremi, Smith, Milner, Martins (Owen 72), Viduka, Ramage (Cacapa 58).
    Subs Not Used: Given, Ameobi.

    Booked: Butt, Milner, Smith.

    Goals: N'Zogbia 22, Viduka 77.

    Att: 28,875

    Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).

    Premier League as it happened
    26 Aug 07 |  Premier League
    Sunday's football photos
    26 Aug 07 |  Football


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