Football: Gascoigne strikes to sink Leicester

Leicester City 0 Middlesbrough 1
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PAUL GASCOIGNE showed Middlesbrough there is life without Paul Merson with a magnificent finish to see off Leicester City.

However, if Gascoigne was the hero of the night, City's Scotland defender Matt Elliott was the unluckiest man on the pitch. He could have had a second half hat-trick but for some heroics in the visitors' goal from the Australian goalkeeper, Mark Schwarzer.

On three separate occasions Elliott thought he had equalised, only for Schwarzer to pull off superb saves. But the quality of Gascoigne's brilliant right-foot curler deserved to win any game. The veteran midfielder's first goal for the club since his arrival in March was worth waiting for. Gascoigne took a short free-kick from Robbie Mustoe in his stride and dummied a City defender before firing coolly into the bottom corner of the net from 22 yards.

Gary Pallister made his long-awaited League debut for Middlesbrough, after returning to his former club from Manchester United in a pounds 2.5m deal in the summer.

The one big surprise for the visitors was the absence of their captain, Andy Townsend, who had refused to criticise Merson after the England player's departure to Aston Villa. Townsend was not even on the bench.

Leicester City: Keller, Savage (Wilson, 74), Guppy, Sinclair, Elliott, Kaamark, Izzet, Lennon, Zagorakis (Taggart, 65), Cottee (Campbell, 65), Heskey. Substitutes not used: Arphexad (gk), Parker.

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer; Gordon, Vickers, Festa, Pallister, Mustoe, Gascoigne (Kinder, 85), Beck, Ricard (Campbell, 73), Cooper (Stockdale, h-t), Maddison. Substitutes not used: Beresford, Moore.

Referee: K Burge (Tonypandy).