Boro 2 Chelsea 1

Last updated : 23 August 2006 By Richard Watts

Boro made three changes from the side beaten at Reading on the opening day of the season; one enforced - Andrew Taylor for the injured Arca and two tactical; Mendieta for Morrison in midfield and centre half Andrew Davies instead of centre forward Mark Viduka resulting in Yakubu playing as a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation but with Downing and Mendieta linking up with him.

Boro started at a good tempo and had best of early exchanges with Downing and Mendieta prominent and fullbacks Davies and Taylor giving good support to the attack. Mendieta turned and got a left foot strike on 8 minutes just past the left hand post, after 10 minutes Riggott headed just over the bar from Downing's corner. A great ball in from Downing after 13 minutes found Yakubu un-marked in the six yard box but he failed to get a touch on a gilt edged chance.

Then on the quarter hour against the run of play the Boro defence slept in, Bridge crossed and the chance fell to Shevchenko who tucked it in. Two minutes later it could easily have been two when Pogatetz missed a cross and Kalou put a good opportunity wide.

Shevchenko continued to be a threat, he hit a great free kick on 25 minutes that Schwarzer did well to turn away for a corner.

There was plenty of endeavour from Boro in the later stages of the first half but despite good work from Downing they couldn't make an impression on Chelsea's back four.

Half time – Boro 0 Chelsea 1

Boro again started the half well, Rochemback trying his luck from 35 yards but he was off target.

Well marshalled by Terry and Makelele Chelsea's tactics were to slow the game down and break up the play. Webb gave the visitors several soft free kicks to increase the frustrations of the home crowd. Downing, who was instrumental in most of Boro's good things in the first half, found himself starved on possession and surrounded by blue shirts when he got the ball.

After a spell of Boro pressure on 62 minutes, Shevchenko broke at speed, crossed for Lampard who sent a free header thumping on to the bar.

Downing broke free on 63 minutes and put another great ball into the box, as in the first half, Yakubu was free six yards out but he sent his header over the bar.

20 minutes from time Boro reverted to 4-4-2 with Viduka replacing the tiring Mendieta.

15 minutes from the end a great flick from Viduka put in Yakubu, he went to down as his shirt was pulled but Webb waved away Boro's strong claims for a penalty. Webb again infuriated the home support when Drogba flung himself to the ground looking for a penalty which should have earned him a second yellow card, Webb ignored it.

10 minutes from time Downing was brought down just outside the box. Rochemback put in a great free kick and Pogatezt thumped a header into the back of the net for a deserved equaliser.

Substitute Cattamole drove Boro on in the closing stages, he had a good effort just wide.

Another soft free kick to Chelsea with 2 minutes left, Lampard's free kick was on target but Schwarzer was equal to it.

In the last minute Boro broke away, Downing crossed into the box, the ball broke for Viduka who finished in style.

Wright-Phillips broke away in injury time but the impressive Pogatezt made another good tackle.

Full time – Boro 2 Chelsea 1

A great win against the Champions. Taylor and Davies impressed in the full back positions, Mendieta had his moments and there was plenty of good work from Downing. He presented Yakubu with two great chances but unfortunately they weren't converted and was brought down for the free kick that led to Boro's equaliser. He then crossed for Viduka's winner. Pogatezt grew in confidence at the back did some great work and scored the winning goal.