Middlesbrough 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

Last updated : 07 May 2005 By Footymad Previewer
Middlesbrough are on the brink of European football for the second successive season.

This was a valuable win against rivals for a UEFA cup place Spurs, with Dutch international George Boateng scoring one of the most important goals of his career.

Middlesbrough were full value for the three points and a revenge win against a Tottenham side that was ineffective in attack.

Spurs even withdrew their strikeforce of Jermain Defoe and Fredi Kanoute in the second half.

Boro began the game in enterprising mood with Slovak international Szilard Nemeth striking the crossbar with a shot from outside of the penalty area in the second minute.

Middlesbrough scored all-important goal in the 11th minute when Boudewijn Zenden sent in a cross from the left wing to Nemeth. The Slovakian wasted a scoring chance, but recovered in time to give the ball back for Boateng.

From 20 yards Boateng sent in a shot that was deflected and wrong-footed reserve goalkeeper Radek Cerny.

Stewart Downing, who received a player of the season award just before the kick-off, flashed a shot just wide of the far post towards the interval.

Spurs had a show of attacking play, but posed no threat to keeper Mark Schwarzer.

Defoe had been subdued and it was no surprise when he was replaced by Robbie Keane.

Shortly after Spurs sent on Mido for Andy Reid, but within a minute he had been booked for a foul.

Middlesbrough sent on substitute Doriva for Zenden in a 77th minute tactical move. A section of the home fans were not happy over the withdrawal of Zenden, who earned a standing ovation as he left the field.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who had a frustrating game in the Boro attack, wasted a match-clinching scoring chance when he shot wide in injury time, but it made no difference to the final outcome.

Skipper Ledley King showed his class in a Spurs side that has not won an away game since the turn of the year.

Man of the Match: Franck Queudrue - Continued the form that has made him one of Boro's most consistent performers in recent months. A valuable asset in both defence and attack.