Dean GordonMiddlesbrough 1-0 Chelsea
Gordon 71
FA Carling Premiership


Adrian Sherling reporting

Dean Gordon scored just four minutes after coming on as a second half substitute as Middlesbrough beat Chelsea to win at the Riverside for the first time in almost nine months.

With Terry Venables in full charge for the first time, the wing-back grabbed his second goal of the season with 19 minutes remaining to lift Boro off the foot of the table.

Gordon picked up Brian Deanes pass and fired in a shot from 20 yards which was deflected agonisingly past Ed de Goey and into the top corner.

The sense of relief around the Riverside was huge, not least from winger Keith ONeill, who missed several gilt-edged opportunities.

The first came on 13 minutes from a delightful Steve Vickers through-ball. The Republic of Ireland international controlled it well, but with de Goey approaching, hit his shot weakly wide.

Deanes cross provided his second chance, but he hit only air, and when the ball bounced back to him as he lay in a heap, his swivelling shot was blocked by John Terry.

O'Neill seemed odds-on to break the deadlock just before the break when the ball fell to him in front of goal after de Goey flapped embarrassingly at a cross, yet his fiercely hit effort was brilliantly blocked by a desperate, diving Gus Poyet.

Claudio RanieriWith Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink suspended, Claudio Ranieri named Icelandic international Eidur Gudjohnsen in attack, and he came closest for the Blues, hitting a cross-shot just the wrong side of Mark Schwarzers upright.

With Middlesbrough minus a home win since March and Chelsea without all three points on their travels since April, something had to give, and in the end it was Chelseas defence. It was never destined to be a classic and will not linger long in the memory of anyone but Boro fans.

In truth, neither club deserved maximum points, yet the one little deflection that little piece of luck was exactly what Venables needed.

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Vickers, Festa, Karembeu, Mustoe, Ince, O'Neill, Okon (Gordon 67), Cooper, Whelan, Deane.
Subs Not Used: Crossley, Stockdale, Gavin, Hudson.
Goals: Gordon 71.

Chelsea: de Goey, Desailly, Terry, Melchiot, Wise, Morris, Dalla Bona, Poyet, Harley (Leboeuf 45), Gudjohnsen, Zola (Aleksidze 79).
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Bogarde, Jokanovic.
Booked: Morris, Leboeuf, Desailly.

Att: 29,422
Ref: P Jones (Loughborough).

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