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Boro and Valdes deny Everton


Stewart Downing runs the show as Boro eke past Oxford United in FA Cup

Stewart Downing
Stewart Downing ran the show for Middlesbrough in their FA Cup fifth-round win over Oxford United.

Middlesbrough's blushes were spared by a late Cristhian Stuani goal to settle a five-goal thriller at the Riverside. Spirited Oxford United bounced back with a double salvo after looking dead and buried at the break as the balance of the match was turned upside down. Boro recovered their composure and, with the introduction of Alvaro Negredo and Gaston Ramirez, were able to turn the tie back in their favour and struck late as Stuani slotted home the goal to win 3-2 and send them to the quarterfinal...

Middlesbrough and Victor Valdes stand firm to deny in-form Everton

Middlesbrough remain in the relegation mire after a dour goalless draw with Everton.
Despite a strong performance in net from Joel Robles, Middlesbrough were frustrated at home by a dreary Everton side.
Victor Valdes expresses his joy at helping Middlesbrough earn a result with his sixth clean sheet this season.
Aitor Karanka stresses the importance of Victor Valdes to the club, and his recent outstanding form in the net.

Middlesbrough displayed great resilience in defence to register a clean sheet in their 0-0 draw with in-form Everton and perhaps felt they could have grabbed a vital victory.

In what was their 11th goalless game of the season, Boro showed healthy attacking intent through their play and substitutions but could not find a way to beat Joel Robles. The performance had a better balance between attack and defence and left the Teessiders' fans with cause for optimism in their relegation battle.

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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Leicester's relegation showdown at Swansea, Liverpool face Tottenham

Shaka Hislop and Sebastian Salazar make their picks for a crucial Prem weekend at both ends of the table.
Leicester City's next six games could be the beginning of the end to their season.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti delves into the rumours regarding dressing room drama at Leicester City.
Following a vote of confidence from Leicester's board, the FC crew discuss what's plaguing Claudio Ranieri and his players.
Shaka Hislop breaks down the odds of the leading candidates to get the sack as manager in the Premier League.

Liverpool still haven't won a league game in 2017. They host rivals Tottenham on Saturday evening with both sides still hoping for a slip-up from Chelsea in their pursuit of the title. 

Elsewhere, there's a monster of a game at the Liberty, with Leicester facing Swansea as their relegation battle takes another twist. The champions are in danger of going down, just one point off the bottom three ahead of the weekend, and could even start the game in the relegation zone if results go against...

Boro could spring shock result vs. rampant Everton with Ramirez return

Gaston Ramirez's return could be just the boost Middlesbrough need when they host Everton on Saturday.

Middlesbrough welcome Everton to the Riverside this weekend with all eyes on winning at least a point in an attempt to pull away from the edge of the relegation zone that sits so perilously close.

Goalkeeper Victor Valdes and the Boro defence have an impressive -8 goal difference in their favour, the best in the lower half of the Premier League table. They must be on their game to prevent a rampant Everton attack from running riot like they did in the 6-3 victory against Bournemouth last time out.


ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Henry, Cantona and Bale tops but Gervinho, Diouf, Bebe and Rebrov flop

The ESPN FC crew look back at Chelsea legend Frank Lampard's career

Who is the best purchase in your club's history and who flopped the most?

ESPN FC asked our club bloggers for their all-time tops and flops in the transfer market. Whether goal scoring machines or cult heroes, big money flops or reviled characters, the good and bad of each Premier League side's business down the years is here. 


Top: Frank Lampard. Went on to become Chelsea's all time record goalscorer with 211 goals from 649 appearances in all competitions. In a glittering...

Boro assured in defence but lack creativity in narrow defeat at Spurs

A lone Harry Kane PK split the difference for Spurs, who take a crucial three points to remain in the title race.
Aitor Karanka is proud of how Middlesbrough competed with Spurs, and is firmly believes they deserve to remain in the Prem.

Middlesbrough were less than a match for a comfortable Tottenham Hotspur, despite a hard-working and assured defensive performance from the visitors. They are yet to bridge the gap between holding a collectively defensive approach as well as having enough verve to put forward a sustained attack on their opposition. Putting in "good performances" may please the manager but it will not be enough to secure Boro's place in next year's Premier League.

Tottenham HotspurTottenham Hotspur
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Adama Traore continued his mission...