Middlesbrough 3 Tottenham Hotspur 3

Last updated : 18 December 2005 By Footymad Previewer
A six-goal thriller should help to bring the crowds back to the Riverside Stadium.

Spurs had a chance to go third in the Premier League with a win but overall they could not complain with the scoreline.

Referee Howard Webb was a whistle-happy chap who annoyed and frustrated both sets of supporters.

Webb set the pattern as early as the sixth minute when he booked Spurs' Michael Dawson for a foul.

The play was briefly held up following a clash of heads between Boro striker Mark Viduka and Spurs skipper Ledley King.

Spurs went ahead through Robbie Keane after 25 minutes when they were gifted a goal by Mark Schwarzer.

The Australian international, who is cast as one of the top Premiership goalkeepers, was clearly at fault when he dropped a left-wing cross from Young-Pyo Lee. It left Keane with a simple chance to put the ball into the net and he duly obliged.

Middlesbrough, however, were on level terms within five minutes. Following a Gareth Southgate flick in the air Yakubu fired a powerful shot into the net from eight yards.

This was the Boro leading scorer's tenth goal of the season, with nine coming in the Premiership.

Two minutes before the break Boro took the lead. Yakubu was credited with the goal, but full marks to James Morrison for his contribution.

Morrison, one of the most promising youngsters from the club's highly acclaimed academy, evaded two opponents before unleashing a 25-yard shot.

The ball would have gone wide but it struck Yakubu and beat Paul Robinson.

The main question after the break was how long would Spurs keep Jermain Defoe on the substitutes bench.

Robinson denied a Yakubu header with a superb save and a minute later Andy Reid was withdrawn and Defoe entered the fray.

The game fluctuated once again with Spurs drawing level through Jermaine Jenas in the 63rd minute.

The former Newcastle United midfield player beat the Boro wall with a superb-free kick that left Schwarzer helpless.

Robinson made a brilliant near-post save from Doriva but he was beaten by Franck Queudrue in the 69th minute. Following a Fabio Rochemback corner Quedrue headed against the bar and the ball bounced down with the assistant referee flagging for a goal.

Robinson was booked for protesting, but TV replays showed the ball had crossed the line.

Spurs, however, were not to be denied and equalised through Mido in the 83rd minute. The striker rose above several defenders in a crowded penalty area to score with a header.

There was an anxious moment when Morrison crashed to the ground following an accidental kick by Keane. Players from both sides frantically called for medical attention and play was held up for several minutes before the teenager was carried off on a stretcher.

In injury time Defoe missed a great goalscoring chance with only Schwarzer to beat, but a goal would have been cruel on the home side.