Middlesbrough 2 Leeds United 2

Last updated : 27 October 2002 By Footymad Previewer

An eventful encounter at the Riverside saw Middlesbrough snatch a 2-2 courtesy of Gareth Southgate's late equaliser but once again all the post-match attention will be focused on Leeds striker Alan Smith.

Terry Venables sprung to the defence of Smith after the England striker had been sent off for the eighth time in his career.

Venables said the sending off was an appalling decison: "It cost us a win because we were in control until that stage.

"The red card was outraegeous and it has got to the stage where you cannot challenge for the ball anymore." Smith was dismissed for his second bookable offence in the second half which left ten man Leeds hanging on for a point. Leeds faced a strong Middlesbrough challenge in the closing stages.

Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren had a different view to El Tel on the game: "I thought we dominated the play. I was disappointed we dropped two points. I thought we played some great football with the team full of running." Waterlooville referee Ron Styles also flashed a red card to Middlesbrough full back Frank Queudrue for his second bookable offence in stoppage time.

Venables, who rescued Middlesbrough from the brink of Premier League relegation three seasons ago, had a great start to his return to the Riverside Stadium.

Leeds went ahead within 20 minutes from a controversial penalty. Middlesbrough players protested in vain when the referee pointed to the spot following a Ugo Ehiogu challenge.

Middlesbrough, however, hit back and after 25 minutes Joseph-Desire Job equalised with a close range shot from a Geremi pass on the right.

Leeds regained the lead from Lee Bowyer after 51 minutes but justice was done when Middlesbrough skipper Gareth Southgate levelled the scores six minutes from time