Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Smart Money Is on a Place at the Millennium Stadium as Juninho Steals the Spotlight in Highbury Super Show

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Smart Money Is on a Place at the Millennium Stadium as Juninho Steals the Spotlight in Highbury Super Show

Article excerpt

Arsenal...........................................................1 Boro............................................................... 0 ERIC Paylor's match report as it appeared in the Gazette after the game.

JUNINHO led the way with style and panache as Boro smashed the Highbury hoodoo last night. The Brazilian star's clinical winner in the opening leg of the Carling Cup semi has laid the foundations for a massive evening of football on Teesside a week tonight.

It was the effervescent Juninho who asked the pertinent questions throughout with his strong forward runs, and nobody could deny Boro this vital first leg lead.

But for better Boro finishing, Arsenal would have been dead and buried with the second leg a mere formality.

Even so, if Arsene Wenger names the same Arsenal line-up at the Riverside, then you've got to fancy Boro to go all the way to the Millennium Stadium.

Not that the Gunners were a pushover last night. Wenger fielded a stronger and more experienced side than anticipated, but Boro were up for it and stamped their authority on the tie from the start.

They tackled harder, worked well off the ball and broke quickly through the middle with Juninho involved in every attack.

The Brazilian was very unlucky not to give Boro the lead after only 16 minutes when he linked up well with George Boateng before driving the ball against the foot of the left-hand post.

Boro went on to disarm the Gunners during the first half and, in fact, neither keeper had an on-target shot to save in the opening 45 minutes.

At the interval, the general belief was that Boro needed to push on to ensure they retained control of the match - and the whole team responded superbly.

Boro came out bubbling and Juninho brought a brilliant diving save from goalkeeper Graham Stack just five minutes after the restart. …

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