Saturday, 2 April 2011

Conclusions from the Riverside Stadium

Middlesbrough3-3Leicester
(HT 1-2)
Emnes 14
Williams 55
McManus 90+4
Yakubu 4, 45+3, 48

Bruma off 77

Att: 14,500
BBC Match Report



  • This was football at its best. Not because of the quality of the game or any rare or uncanny eventuality, but the sheer pace at which it changed direction and swerved. This was the perfect example of why we follow our club through thick and thin, high and low, with goals and controversy galore... just a brilliant afternoon's entertainment.
  • Attacking is all well and good, but you need to have some defence too. The quality of Leicester City's defending was as poor as our attacking was good this afternoon. Too many errors allowed Middlesbrough back into the game and, even though Rhys Williams' strike was a great one, it was mistakes at the back that made this a shaky draw instead of the easy victory it could so easily have been. 



Winners
Yakubu
A week off gave plenty of fans the opportunity to reflect on various players' performances and one man widely criticised was Yakubu. He answered those critics in style this afternoon as he put in a real shift to give the Foxes a crucial win and earn himself the match ball in the process. A great performance at his former club from the big man.

Chris Weale
Hero. Although he was one of many players to blame for Middlesbrough's early equaliser (he was helpless to stop Williams' stunning second for the home side), Weale's call back into the starting eleven was one he answered with aplomb. Once again, Ricardo was a man who received some harsh feedback from various commentators and Sven Goran Eriksson opted to drop him in favour of the Bristolian for this afternoon's clash. It worked, Weale making some crucial saves to keep the Foxes fighting. His penalty save was at the time one of the biggest turning points of the season, and in the end it meant the Foxes left the north-east with a point instead of nothing at all.



Losers
Patrick van Aanholt
A poor header gifted the home side their equaliser as he gave the ball away and, despite his promise going forward, the young Dutch full back is caught out at the back far too often.

Jeffrey Bruma
The handball decision that led to the Boro penalty was dubious but dealt with superbly by Weale. What followed was farcical as Bruma continued to harry the referee and was rightly sent off for dissent. This was a perfect example of how the youthful make-up of the Leicester City defence can easily implode, with a poor overall performance at the back compounded by Bruma's tantrum that made this superb game end with just a single point for the Foxes instead of the three we deserved.

Andy Haines, London
A poor, poor refereeing performance today from the man in black who has shot the Foxes good discipline record to pieces with five yellow cards and one red. It was not that he was trigger happy in his pocket, rather that he failed to put Boro players in the book for very similar challenges to those that went punished against players in royal blue. It was inconsistency that was the issue today. Perhaps his only good decision was in the second booking dished-out to Jeffrey Bruma who deserved his red card for dissent, but overall Haines today did not demonstrate a fitness to officiate at this level.
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