Arsenal Drop More Points at Middlesbrough

Martin BentleyCorrespondent IDecember 13, 2008

Arsenal still have their critics after dropping two points at Middlesbrough, drawing 1-1 at the Riverside Stadium.

Emmanuel Adebayor put the Gunners ahead on 17 minutes after heading in from a corner, but former Arsenal reserve Jeremie Aliadiere drew 'Boro level on the half hour mark with a fine header of his own.

Middlesbrough took control of the rest of the first half, causing Arsenal a few problems, but in the second, it was Arsenal who had more of the play, but poor finishing, in addition to some resolute 'Boro defending, meant that Arsenal only picked up one point when three were essential.

The result could potentially leave Arsenal 10 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool by the end of the weekend, and could even leave them outside the Top Four with an Aston Villa win. Victory against Liverpool at the Emirates next week is vital, but now Arsenal really need the other members of the Big Four, as well as Aston Villa, to slip up throughout the season if they still aspire to win the title.

Finishing in the top three, and getting an automatic Champions League place, is a more realistic goal for Arsenal now. As for Middlesbrough, the result solidifies their mid-table position, and will give them confidence going ahead.