Saturday 07 September 2013
With his white hair and trademark ‘shirt over the head’ celebration, Fabrizio Ravanelli was bound to catch the eye. A hat-trick on his Middlesbrough debut against Liverpool proved he had the skill to match his image and his goals helped Boro to two domestic cup finals.
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Middlesbrough continued their impressive start to the 1996/97 campaign as Fabrizio Ravanelli and Juninho inspired them to victory at the Riverside Stadium.
Boro, then managed by Bryan Robson, had just recorded a victory over West Ham United and they maintained their winning run with a dominant performance against Ron Atkinson's Coventry.
Ravanelli, who had joined Boro from Juventus that summer, opened the scoring after only three minutes with a header before Juninho doubled the advantage on 28 minutes, slotting home neatly from Robbie Mustoe's lay-off.
Mustoe was involved again for the third goal as he fed Ravanelli after winning the ball in midfield. The Italian striker curled the ball in from the edge of the area with his left foot.
Juninho made it four 10 minutes from time when Ravanelli's pass found the Brazilian unmarked in the penalty area, allowing him time and space to slot the ball into the net.
Middlesbrough moved up to fourth when they defeated Everton in their next match but that was as good as it got that season. They did not win again until Boxing Day, and a 1-1 draw against Leeds United on the final day of the campaign confirmed their relegation from the top flight. Coventry, meanwhile, beat Tottenham Hotspur on the final day to stay up by only a point.