Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Middlesbrough make losing start to season
MIDDLESBROUGH suffered a losing start to the season as they threw away a one-goal lead to slip to a 2-1 home defeat to Leicester City.
Sean St Ledger's 35th-minute own goal was no more than Boro deserved for a first-half display that was packed with energy and enterprise.
But Tony Mowbray's side were unable to sustain their bright start and Leicester completely dominated as they turned the game on its head after the interval.
Danny Drinkwater's 20-yard strike drew the Foxes level on the hour mark, before striker Jamie Vardy curled home an excellent winner seven minutes later.
With Frazer Richardson unable to take part despite his arrival as a free agent on Friday, Mowbray named the same side that had started Boro's final pre-season friendly against Bordeaux.
With Marvin Emnes partnering Jutkiewicz in a 4-4-2 formation, the Teessiders were positive from the off and dominated the opening stages.
Jutkiewicz wasted the first opportunity of the game, shooting wide after being released down the right in the fourth minute, before George Friend headed Mustapha Carayol's cross over the crossbar.
There was a lengthy delay after Leicester defender Zak Whitbread was seriously injured in an innocuous-looking collision from a corner, but when play eventually resumed, Boro carved out another decent opportunity.
Emnes pulled the ball back to the edge of the area, but Whitehead was unable to direct his low effort on target.
Jason Steele was finally called into action in the 26th minute, getting down effectively to keep out a tame effort from Paul Konchesky, and Leicester striker Chris Wood came close with a free-kick that whistled past the post after a deflection off the Boro wall.
However, Boro claimed the goal their bright first-half efforts deserved ten minutes before the break, although it came from an unexpected source.
St Ledger spent three months with Middlesbrough during an unsuccessful loan spell in 2009, and when Carayol crossed from the left, the Republic of Ireland international diverted the ball into his own net under considerable pressure from Jutkiewicz.
Boro might have doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time, but Emnes declined the opportunity to shoot after dribbling his way into the box and finding himself one-on-one with Kasper Schmeichel, and when Grant Leadbitter did eventually pull the trigger, his shot was blocked by the Leicester goalkeeper.
Boro could have done with a second goal as the game changed markedly in the second half, with Leicester dominating from the off.
Steele was forced to save another long-range effort from Konchesky and only a magnificent covering tackle from Whitehead prevented Drinkwater scoring in the 55th minute.
Leicester only had to wait another five minutes for their equaliser though, and this time Drinkwater would not be denied.
Jonathan Woodgate failed to adequately clear a ball into the box, and Drinkwater swept home adeptly from 20 yards out.
That was bad enough for Boro, but things got worse when the game changed completely and they fell behind seven minutes later.
Vardy played a slick one-two with substitute David Nugent, and curled a superb shot into the right-hand corner of the net despite a last-ditch attempt at a covering tackle from Rhys Williams.
Boro's only real chance of an equaliser came in the 69th minute, but Schmeichel got down well to turn Leadbitter's effort around the post.
Leicester came close to a third goal with five minutes left, but after holding off George Friend, Vardy saw his low shot deflect off Steele's body and hit the right-hand upright.
MIDDLESBROUGH (4-4-2): Steele; Parnaby (L Williams 81), R Williams, Woodgate, Friend; Varga, Whitehead; Leadbitter, Carayol (Haroun 61); Emnes, Jutkiewicz.
Subs (not used): Leutwiler (gk), Hoyte, Gibson, Smallwood, Ledesma.
LEICESTER (5-3-2): Schmeichel; De Laet, Whitbread (Moore 18), Morgan, St Ledger, Konchesky; King, James, Drinkwater; Vardy, Wood (Nugent 61).
Subs (not used): Logan (gk), Marshall, Schlupp, Dyer, Waghorn.
Comments are closed on this article.