Emerson and Boro go missing shambles

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The Independent Online
Middlesbrough 0 Leicester City 2

Bryan Robson admitted last night that he was unsure of Emerson's whereabouts after the Brazilian missed a poor Middlesbrough performance which extended their Premiership run to 10 matches without a win.

The Middlesbrough manager had been expecting Emerson to return for last night's match after he had been allowed to return to Brazil at the weekend. The midfielder had been due to return to the team after serving a three- match suspension. Robson said he expected the player to return "in the next 24 to 48 hours".

Goals either side of half-time from Leicester's top scorer, Steve Claridge, and Muzzy Izzet sent Martin O'Neill's team up to 12th place. Leicester deserved their victory as the home crowd's unrest increased in volume around the stadium as the match progressed.

Mikkel Beck had a great chance to settle Boro's nerves in the third minute when he burst clear on to a Robbie Mustoe pass, but the Danish striker allowed the ball to run away from him at the vital moment and Kasey Keller saved.

Leicester had the better of the opening exchanges but again had Keller to thank when he denied Phil Stamp as the youngster's volley flew through a crowd of players and looked destined for the bottom corner.

The Teessiders went behind after Lennon danced past Chris Morris down the right and crossed for Claridge to leap unchallenged to head past Garry Walsh from six yards to chalk up his sixth goal of the season.

Leicester celebrated again a minute after the restart when Parker rolled a short free-kick sideways and Izzet sent a shot arrowing past Walsh's left hand from the left side of the area.

Middlesbrough: Walsh; Cox, Whyte, Moore (Summerbell, 39), Fleming; Mustoe, Beck, Stamp, Hignett, Ravanelli, Morris (Fjortoft, 80). Substitutes not used: Whelan, Freestone, Roberts.

Leicester City: Keller; Grayson, Prior, Watts (Hill, h-t), Marshall; Izzet, Lennon, Taylor (Lawrence, 70), Parker; Claridge, Heskey (Campbell, 62). Substitutes not used: Poole, Kamaark.

Referee: P Alcock (Redhill).

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