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United Slump to Middlesbrough

Defeat at 'Boro

By David Hobbs
November 8 2005

United slumped to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough on Saturday evening with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the Red Devils' 1000th Premiership goal as a mere consolation. New Page 2

United Slump to Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough 4
Mendieta 2
Hasselbaink 25
Yakubu 45 pen
Mendieta 78

Manchester United 3
Ronaldo 90

Manchester United's title hopes took a further blow as the Red Devils slumped 4-1 at the hands of Middlesbrough on Saturday evening at the Riverside.

United were 3-0 down at half-time due to some catastrophic defensive errors and the hosts took the lead just after 2 minutes courtesy of a Mendieta strike and an Edwin van der Sar mistake.

Sir Alex Ferguson is understandably furious with his side's defending but backs his players to bounce back. He said: "On that form, we couldn't beat anybody. Defensively, we were very disappointing. But we will get the right response all right, that is without question."

He added: "We conceded in the second minute to a free shot from 25 yards and we never recovered from that. The second and third goals were terrible ones to lose. You can't afford to do that at this level."

United's consolation goal, which was also United's 1000th Premiership goal, was scored by Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the game will not be remembered by that.

United's comedy of errors started just moments into kick-off when Spaniard Gaizka Mendieta's shot flew past Edwin van der Sar's soft fingers.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink added to the misery about 20 minutes later then Yakubu struck a third from the spot after Kieran Richardson's alleged shirt-tugging in his own box.

Unite couldn't revive the game after a half-time hairdryer from Fergie and went on to concede a 4th towards the end of the game through Mendieta, a constant thorn in United's side.

Substitute Cristiano Ronaldo softened the massive blow slightly with a great header from a late Paul Scholes corner.

Final Score: Middlesbrough 4-1 Manchester United

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Bates, Riggott, Queudrue, Parnaby, Boateng, Mendieta (Morrison 87), Rochemback (Doriva 64), Pogatetz, Hasselbaink (Nemeth 79), Yakubu.

Manchester United: Van der Sar, Bardsley (Richardson 31), Ferdinand (Brown 87), O'Shea, Silvestre, Fletcher, Smith, Scholes, Park (Ronaldo 60), Rooney, van Nistelrooy.

Refereed By:
A Wiley

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