Middlesbrough FC Against the Odds: Five Great Upset Wins By the Club
With the league leading Queens Park Rangers coming to town on Saturday, the odds are against Middlesbrough coming away with 3 points, according to the bookmakers. However, it's not like those odds have not been upset in the past. To get you in the mood for the QPR game, here are five great upsets pulled off by Middlesbrough FC.
5. Middlesbrough 2-0 Liverpool. Coca-Cola Cup Semi-Final– 18th February, 1998.
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Boro entered this League Cup second leg fixture 2-1 down after losing in the first leg at Anfield. Premier League Liverpool were a league above First Division Boro and heavily favored to advance to Wembley Stadium.
Boro jumped on Liverpool from the outset and were awarded a 2nd minute penalty when Jamie Carragher fouled Craig Hignett, Paul Merson stepped up to convert the resulting penalty. Merson was involved again only minutes later when he released Italian striker Marco Branca who scored from his first touch in a Boro shirt.
Boro held on for a 3-2 aggregate win and advanced to their third Cup Final in 12 months.
4. Arsenal 0-1 Middlesbrough. Carling Cup Semi-Final – 21st January, 2004.
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Middlesbrough traveled to face Arsenal at Highbury on the road to the club’s only major domestic honor. Boro sat back to defend deep and hit on the counter with cult hero Juninho being employed behind a lone striker. The plan worked to perfection when the Brazilian legend gave Boro a 1-0 lead from a Gaizka Mendieta assist.
Boro went on to win the second leg 2-1 and advance to the final where they would win the club’s first major trophy. How good was that Arsenal team? They did not lose a Premier League game all season, and have went down in history as “The Invincible’s.”
3. Middlesbrough 4-1 Leeds United. Premier League – 22nd August, 1992.
Photo credit to Official Middlesbrough website: www.mfc.co.uk
Leeds United won the last Division One title, and the defending English Champions arrived at Ayresome Park in confident mood against newly promoted Boro during the first ever Premier League season.
Boro took the lead when former Leeds winger Tommy Wright set up Paul Wilkinson to open the scoring. Two minutes later it was déjà vu, as Wright crossed for Wilkinson to make it 2-0. The inspirational Wright then scored himself before setting up John Hendrie to score against his old club.
French superstar Eric Cantona netted a late consolation for Leeds and make final scoreline 4-1. It would prove to be a good day for Boro in a bad season, as we were relegated in May 1993.
2. Manchester United 2-3 Middlesbrough. Premier League – 19th December, 1998.
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“If Boro win at Old Trafford I will show my bum in Binns window," said Bernie Slaven, as Boro prepared to travel to Old Trafford.
Underdogs Boro rocked United by taking a 3-0 lead in the first hour. Hamilton Ricard opened the scoring before Dean Gordon doubled Boro’s lead with a thunderous strike from distance. Brian Deane made it 3-0 before United were spurred into life. Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes hit back for United but Boro held on for a fmous 3-2 win.
Days after the game, Slaven would draw a big crowd to Middlesbrough town center as he bared his bum for the watching crowd. How good was that United team? They went on to win the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League.
1. Middlesbrough 1 Roma 0. UEFA Cup – 9th March, 2006.
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Roma, the Italian giants, traveled to face Middlesbrough in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup. At the time of kickoff, Roma were riding an 11 game Serie A winning streak and were favorites to win the whole competition.
Boro took a shocking lead from the penalty spot after 12 minutes, when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was felled in the area by Gianluca Curci. Yakubu dispatched the penalty and Boro held on throughout for a famous 1-0 win.
Boro lost 2-1 in Rome during the second leg but advanced on away goals to continue their historic cup run.