Tuesday 05 March 2013
A hat-trick by Italian striker Fabrizio Ravanelli inspired bottom club Middlesbrough to a 6-1 Barclays Premier League defeat of Derby County.
Ravanelli, nicknamed the ‘White Feather’, scored three second-half goals to help his side earn their sixth victory of the Barclays Premier League campaign. Vladimir Kinder opened the scoring for the hosts before Craig Hignett and Mikkel Beck found the net along with Ravanelli’s treble.
Paul Simpson scored a late consolation for the visitors, but Boro completed a crucial victory to boost their prospects of avoiding relegation.
The win galvanised the club and although they remained rooted to the foot of the table despite their impressive result, they went on to record four consecutive victories to move out of the drop zone.
However, Bryan Robson’s charges would fall just short of safety, with a 1-1 draw against Leeds United on the final day of the season resulting in their relegation. The Teessiders also enjoyed remarkable runs in the League Cup and FA Cup, but lost in the final of both competitions.
Ravanelli, who joined Middlesbrough from Juventus in the summer of 1996 after scoring in the Serie A side’s UEFA Champions League final victory over Dutch outfit Ajax, made an instant impact with 16 goals in a memorable debut season in the Barclays Premier League.
Although Boro fell agonisingly short of safety and success in two cup competitions, the white-haired striker became a cult hero in the north-east after establishing a prolific partnership with the Brazilian playmaker Juninho and devising his own goal celebration, whereby he would pull his shirt over his head.
After just one season Ravanelli left Middlesbrough for Marseille, but he returned to England with Derby in 2001, scoring nine goals in his second full Barclays Premier League season as the Rams were relegated from the English top-flight. After another season at County and a brief stint at Dundee the striker returned to Italy with Perugia in 2004.