On reflection . . .

Last updated : 16 August 2005 By Reggie Holdsworth

Liverpool were favourites, coming into the game on the back of several useful European games, making them fitter and sharper than Boro. It was Boro’s first competitive outing of the season following a rather insipid pre-season.

Steven Gerrard apart Liverpool created few chances but they were still the better side for long periods.

Steve McClaren will not have learnt much from the performance. Yakubu and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink didn’t prove themselves together, but they were well marshalled by the Liverpool defence.

The introduction of Mark Viduka, for JFH midway through the second half was hindered by the dismissal of Ugo Ehiogu just minutes later. Viduka was left alone upfront after the withdrawal of Yakubu for Matthew Bates. An injury to Szilard Nemeth left the big Aussie even more isolated

Boro were effectively down to nine and a half men on the field, so it was backs to the wall stuff for the final 20 minutes, but somehow they survived to take a point.

The midfield battled well but George Boateng and Ray Parlour were often outnumbered by Liverpool. Disappointingly Boro failed to get men wide and pushed down the flanks, to supply the men in the middle.

But all said and done we’ll take the point, the Boro of a couple of seasons ago would have capitulated and ended up with nothing.