Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Crystal Palace 0 Boro 1

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Crystal Palace 0 Boro 1

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

C'est magnifique!

Franck Queudrue's new found penchant for scoring goals has given Boro's new mini-season the perfect kick start.

The French defender's fifth goal of the season helped provide the three-points start which Boro needed to keep the European dream alive.

Queudrue has been a revelation over the past few weeks, arguably playing better than ever, and the goals are the icing on the cake.

He is defending out of his skin, having made several crucial headed clearances at Selhurst Park in addition to well-timed tackles on wingmen Wayne Routledge and Vassilis Lakis which made it a little bit better for his centre-backs.

This was very much a Boro back to the walls effort, particularly in the second half as Crystal Palace pumped long balls forward, but Queudrue and his fellow defenders passed the test.

This was only Boro's second clean sheet away from home since October, and bears testimony to the hard work put in by the team as a whole.

Maybe the two weeks break did work wonders.

Gareth Southgate has hardly played better this season, while Chris Riggott was a tower alongside.

The fact that Boro had to do so much defending was an indication that they are still tentatively playing their way back following the dreadful run.

But it was also necessary to deal with Palace's enthusiastic approach because they try to out-work teams at Selhurst Park.

It didn't really work for the Eagles this time, mainly because a lot of their potential threat was nullified at source.

In this respect George Boateng was a man mountain in the middle. Anybody who has any doubts how badly he has been missed only needed to watch his phenomenal effort on Saturday.

There must have been doubts whether Boateng would last the 90 minutes, but he was running as strongly as anybody at the final whistle. …

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