Chelsea 2-2 Middlesbrough  (Sky Sports)

Last-Gasp Boksic Makes Blues Pay Penalty

Alen Boksic


Chelsea 2-2 Middlesbrough 
Hasselbaink 3, 37   Stockdale 61
Boksic 90 pen
FA Barclaycard Premiership

Adrian Sherling reporting

Alen Boksic's controversial penalty deep into injury-time earned Middlesbrough a share of the spoils against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Referee Rob Styles waved play on as Boro players appealed for a 93rd minute spot-kick after the ball hit Graeme Le Saux's hand, but his assistant flagged and Boksic, who had been anonymous all game, made no mistake to equalise.

It was a point that had looked extremely unlikely for Middlesbrough at half-time, after Steve McClaren's men were thoroughly outplayed for the opening period and found themselves two down at the break thanks to a brace from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

It means that the Stamford Bridge faithful still waiting to see their first victory, after three home draws out of three. Amazingly considering their record last season, it is their away form sustaining their position in the top half of the table.

It took just three minutes for the Blues to go ahead. The Dutchman nipped Eidur Gudjohnsen's throughball past Boro keeper Mark Crossley and slotted the ball into the far corner.

They immediately settled down and, with direct winger Boudewijn Zenden causing problems every time he touched the ball, it seemed only a matter of time before they added to their lead. The second came after a sustained bout of pressure as Hasselbaink pounced on a ball bobbling around in the box from a corner and dispatched an unstoppable volley into the top corner from close range.

The home side were completely in control, but took their foot off the pedal in the second period and allowed the visitors to get back into the game.

Substitute Robbie Stockdale, on for the ineffective Allan Johnston, hit a volley from the edge of the penalty area and Ed de Goey appeared to have it covered until it deflected off William Gallas' head and into the back of the net.

Chelsea looked like holding on to all three points when the otherwise magnificent Jason Gavin nodded wastefully over from six yards with a free header.

Yet Boro fought until the end and snatched a dramatic point in the final seconds thanks to Boksic's penalty.

MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: John Terry (Chelsea)
A defensive rock at the back for the Blues, an England debut cannot be far away.

Chelsea: de Goey, Gallas, Desailly, Terry, Babayaro (Le Saux 78), Zenden (Zola 89), Lampard (Morris 69), Jokanovic, Melchiot, Gudjohnsen, Hasselbaink.
Subs Not Used: Dalla Bona, Bosnich.
Booked: Melchiot, Hasselbaink, Jokanovic, Desailly.

Middlesbrough: Crossley, Fleming (Marinelli 74), Cooper, Gavin, Southgate, Johnston (Stockdale 46), Greening, Ince, Mustoe (Wilson 74), Deane, Boksic.
Subs Not Used: Nemeth, Beresford.
Booked: Gavin, Deane.

Att: 36,767
Ref: R Styles (Waterlooville).

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