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Wednesday 20 March 2013

On this day: Brace by Maccarone a blow to Blues

In series on Premier League's history, we look at Middlesbrough's 5-3 win over Birmingham in 2004

  • Gaizka Mendieta was in fine form for Middlesbrough

  • Team-mates congratulate Massimo Maccarone after his fine second goal

  • Mikael Forssell scored two goals for Birmingham and also hit the woodwork

  • Szilard Nemeth celebrates the goal which sealed victory for Boro

  • Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce reacts to his side's display rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

20 March 2004: Middlesbrough 5-3 Birmingham City

Birmingham City may have scored three goals away from home but they still ended up on the wrong end of the scoreline as goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer's excellent display guided Middlesbrough to victory at the Riverside Stadium.

Schwarzer pulled off a host of saves, mainly denying striker Mikael Forssell, to dent Birmingham's European hopes.

The match was played in howling gales but it was Boro who got to grips with the tricky conditions the quickest, Gaizka Mendieta striking into the far corner from the right had side of the area on five minutes after a well-worked build-up.

The Spaniard then turned provider 16 minutes later as he fired a cross into the six-yard box for Massimo Maccarone to turn into the net.

The hosts were not going to have it their own way, though, as Forssell guided the ball into the right-hand corner. But back came Boro, Gareth Southgate pouncing from six yards out after Maccarone headed down a corner on the half hour mark.

The end-to-end action continued as Clinton Morrison made the score 3-2 when he was first to react after a Schwarzer save ran loose only for Maccarone to restore Boro's two-goal cushion with a superb shot from the left hand side of the area that dipped into the far top corner.

Forssell gave his side another glimmer of hope with a header that went in off Schwarzer 14 minutes after the break but despite Birmingham's efforts, the equaliser never came and Szilard Nemeth made sure of the three points when he slotted home after taking advantage of a slip by defender Matthew Upson.

"It was a bizarre game, we scored five, conceded three goals at home and the goalkeeper is the man of the match," said Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren.

"It was the highest scoring game ever at the Riverside. What a game, what a treat for the fans. Despite the conditions, and it was bad out there, it was great attacking football with some great goals and lots of mistakes. I don't think you will see a better goalkeeping display this season. Mark Schwarzer was excellent."

The victory came just three weeks after Middlesbrough lifted their first piece of major silverware as they beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 in the League Cup Final and qualified for the UEFA Europa League.

McClaren's side moved up to 11th in the Barclays Premier League while the defeat left Birmingham in seventh, three points adrift of Liverpool in fourth.

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Key Points

  • looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A piece of action from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember an eight-goal thriller at the Riverside