Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Liverpool 2, Middlesbrough 0

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Liverpool 2, Middlesbrough 0

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

Chris Riggott was the latest victim of the Curse of the Disappearing Centre-back as Boro slipped to their third consecutive defeat at Anfield.

It was always going to be a tough game, and Boro left Liverpool with their heads held high.

But they were not quite good enough on the day, and rarely looked capable of getting anything from the match.

A point would have been a decent haul, but it was never on after Liverpool scored twice through Danny Murphy and Emile Heskey early in the second half.

The problem, as ever, was that Boro lacked impact up front.

They defended reasonably well, worked their socks off in midfield and did get balls into the Liverpool box.

But this side is being starved by the lack of a genuine finisher, and won't achieve its true potential until the right men are brought in.

Boro are now left to play only for their pride, though may have to do so with at least one more defender on the injury list.

Riggott's season is over after limping off with an ankle injury, while Ugo Ehiogu is also a doubt after suffering a hamstring twinge.

Ehiogu, playing for a possible place at Euro 2004, was always Boro's main man at the back and the last thing he needs at the moment is an injury scare.

The best performer came in midfield, where George Boateng was awesome.

He ran, tackled, supported and generally unsettled Liverpool.

But the home side still had too much in hand where it mattered.

In fact, Boro found themselves under incredible pressure from the kick-off, with Mark Schwarzer called on to make two stunning saves from Harry Kewell in the first five minutes.

When the dust finally settled, Gaizka Mendieta went close from a free-kick and then Joseph Job wasted a glorious chance when his close-range effort was blocked by Jerzy Dudek.

Boro never really came as close again and did well to survive more pressure when Ehiogu made a great blocking tackle on Michael Owen, who replied by hitting the left hand post from Liverpool's next attack. …

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