Season 2007-08 Result
Middlesbrough 2-2 Newcastle United
 Mido 28,
 Arca 80.
 C.N'Zogbia 22,
 M.Viduka 77.
Date: 26/08/2007  Venue: Riverside Statium  Competition: Premiership
Crowd: 28,875
Match Report Submitted on 29/08/2007 by ?
Smogs 2 v 2 Toon

Sam Allardyce's side preserved their unbeaten start to the season but were twice pegged back by the home side and lost two defenders with what looked like nasty injuries. We lost Stephen Carr inside six minutes and Peter Ramage – the Irishman’s replacement – soon followed.

Viduka’s first return to smoggieland generated an atmosphere to befit such an occasion and the game followed suit. However there were still numerous empty red seats in the home areas. Booed and barracked by the home fans each time he touched the ball, the Australian went head-to-head with Jonathan Woodgate, a one-time team-mate whose unexpected return was a gamble Gareth Southgate felt he had to take. For 77 minutes it worked. Then Viduka struck.

Newcastle promised much, taking a deserved lead in the 22nd minute. The goal was an exquisite one, the surprise not that it was N’Zogbia who supplied it, but that the Frenchman used his right foot to do so. As he cut inside on the left foot he favours, N’Zogbia appeared to have lingered too long and travelled too far. Perhaps that was what George Boateng was thinking as the home captain allowed his opponent the time and space to shoot. It proved an unwise decision, a bending ball flashing past Schwarzer’s grasp to leave Boateng open-mouthed and Newcastle ahead.

It had been an excellent opening for The Toon yet, within six minutes, the scores were level, the contest back on. Rochemback was Middlesbrough’s best player, although the space he was allowed was alarming.

With 13 minutes remaining, N’Zogbia put his right foot to good use once more to pick Viduka out. Under intense pressure from Woodgate, there seemed little danger. Yet, having used his thigh to control and his strength to escape, he made space in an expert fashion drilled the ball past Schwarzer.

With the clock ticking down, it seemed it would be decisive. Yet within three minutes, The Smoggies were back on terms.

David Rozehnal’s header fell to Arca on the 18-yard line. The South American drilled the ball past Harper to level the scores.

Can someone explain why the smogs can’t give The Toon the whole of the away end and save the embarrassment of loads of empty seats? They could send us 10,000 tickets and we’d still sell the lot.