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Championship: Middlesbrough come back to draw 2-2 at Millwall in injury-time

Neil Harris
Neil Harris was angered by the manner of both Middlesbrough goals

Boss Neil Harris says Millwall "self-imploded" in letting slip a two-goal lead to draw with promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough at the Den.

The Lions were 2-0 up and cruising on 87 minutes after first-half goals from Aiden O'Brien and Lee Gregory, and could have had more as they continued to dominate after the break.

However, Martin Braithwaite pulled a goal back following good work by substitute Marcus Tavernier and George Friend levelled in the seventh minute of injury-time to complete the comeback.

"For 87 minutes it's men versus boys, we've dominated the game," Harris told BBC Radio London.

"Then we self-implode. I've told the players in there I've not got time to accept switching off. I told harsh words to the forwards - we should have been five-up. If we don't get the killer third goal you put yourself under pressure.

"We played a side who if you finish above them this season, then you'll be promoted. Before the game we'd have taken a point but when you're 2-0 up with three minutes to go you don't expect to only take a point out of it."

Tony Pulis' Boro side were among the pre-season tips for success but against Millwall - who just missed out on the play-offs last term - they looked anything but for long periods.

Despite their performance, salvaging a point at a fired up, rocking Den - celebrating its 25-year anniversary - could prove a useful result when it comes to the end-of-season reckoning.

Millwall, who made huge progress last season under Harris, delivered a compact, hard-to-break-down and energetic performance that had Boro struggling to create on a hot day in south London.

Their lead reflected their superiority, as on 11 minutes O'Brien slammed past Darren Randolph after being assisted by Gregory, who then pounced on a howler of a back-header by Aden Flint to double the advantage before half-time.

With the game edging towards a comfortable home win, Pulis changed things around with the introduction of Lewis Wing, Marcus Tavernier and Ashley Fletcher in a bid to find a way through the Lions' defence, and it paid off to ensure the Teessiders picked up a point they could scarcely have believed was possible.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis told BBC Tees:

"Let's put everything into perspective, we're six short of who we finished last season with. It's half the team we had last season.

"The first half we were poor - we sat back, never got after it, never got the ball forward or got enough possession in their half, so there were some choice words at half-time.

"We made some changes and in the last 25 minutes we showed our teeth, for the first time during the game."

Line-ups

Millwall

  • 1Archer
  • 12RomeoBooked at 90mins
  • 4HutchinsonBooked at 90mins
  • 5Cooper
  • 3Meredith
  • 7WallaceBooked at 63mins
  • 6Williams
  • 23Saville
  • 22O'BrienSubstituted forSkalakat 86'minutes
  • 9GregorySubstituted forElliottat 81'minutes
  • 20MorisonSubstituted forWallaceat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2McLaughlin
  • 10Onyedinma
  • 13Amos
  • 18Tunnicliffe
  • 19Elliott
  • 25Wallace
  • 26Skalak

Middlesbrough

  • 23Randolph
  • 5Shotton
  • 24Flint
  • 20Fry
  • 3Friend
  • 8ClaytonBooked at 28minsSubstituted forTavernierat 59'minutes
  • 7LeadbitterSubstituted forWingat 56'minutesBooked at 56mins
  • 16Howson
  • 19DowningSubstituted forFletcherat 74'minutes
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 10Braithwaite

Substitutes

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 18Fletcher
  • 21Johnson
  • 25Wood-Gordon
  • 26Wing
  • 27Chapman
  • 28Tavernier
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
15,056

Match Stats

Home TeamMillwallAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home9
Away12
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home13
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Millwall 2, Middlesbrough 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Millwall 2, Middlesbrough 2.

Goal!

Goal! Millwall 2, Middlesbrough 2. George Friend (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lewis Wing.

Attempt missed. Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jiri Skalak (Millwall).

Booking

Shaun Hutchinson (Millwall) is shown the yellow card.

Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shaun Hutchinson (Millwall).

Booking

Mahlon Romeo (Millwall) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Tom Elliott (Millwall) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by James Meredith following a fast break.

Attempt missed. Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Attempt blocked. Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Marcus Tavernier.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jake Cooper.

Attempt blocked. Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Martin Braithwaite with a headed pass.

Substitution

Substitution, Millwall. Murray Wallace replaces Steve Morison.

Goal!

Goal! Millwall 2, Middlesbrough 1. Martin Braithwaite (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marcus Tavernier.

Foul by Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough).

Mahlon Romeo (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by James Meredith.

Substitution

Substitution, Millwall. Jiri Skalak replaces Aiden O'Brien.

Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by James Meredith (Millwall).

Corner, Millwall. Conceded by Dael Fry.

Attempt blocked. Steve Morison (Millwall) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mahlon Romeo.

Offside, Millwall. Mahlon Romeo tries a through ball, but Steve Morison is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Millwall. Tom Elliott replaces Lee Gregory.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jake Cooper.

Attempt missed. Aden Flint (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Ashley Fletcher.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jordan Archer.

Attempt missed. Ryan Shotton (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Martin Braithwaite with a cross following a set piece situation.

Martin Braithwaite (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by James Meredith (Millwall).

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Ashley Fletcher replaces Stewart Downing.

George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steve Morison (Millwall).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Shaun Hutchinson (Millwall) because of an injury.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jake Cooper.

Attempt blocked. Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from very close range is blocked.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Brentford11005143
2Wigan11003213
3Bolton11002113
4Derby11002113
5Swansea11002113
6Preston11001013
7Birmingham10102201
8Blackburn10102201
9Ipswich10102201
10Middlesbrough10102201
11Millwall10102201
12Norwich10102201
13Bristol City10101101
14Nottm Forest10101101
15Aston Villa00000000
16Hull00000000
17Leeds00000000
18Stoke00000000
19Sheff Wed100123-10
20Reading100112-10
21Sheff Utd100112-10
22West Brom100112-10
23QPR100101-10
24Rotherham100115-40
View full Championship table

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