League round-up: Shelvey halts Boro progress


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The Independent Football

Third-placed Middlesbrough were held 2-2 by Blackpool, Boro's sixth Championship draw in nine home games as stalemates hinder their progress. Scott McDonald twice gave Boro the lead, but Jonjo Shelvey's fifth goal in four games made Pool's point. "The result is frustrating – but not the way we played," said Boro's manager, Tony Mowbray.

Peter Whittingham scored the first and set up the second for Mark Hudson as fourth-placed Cardiff City won 2-1 at Reading to close the gap on Boro.

Robert Snodgrass scored twice in the final 15 minutes at Turf Moor as Leeds United came from behind to beat Burnley 2-1. Andy O'Brien did a Tevez and refused to play for Leeds. The defender "won't play for this football club as long as I am here," manager Simon Grayson said.

Matt Fryatt and Cameron Stewart scored as Hull City gave Nick Barmby a winning start as caretaker manager, 2-0 at Derby County. The points lifted the Tigers into the top six. Michael Appleton's first match as Portsmouth manager was far less propitious, Pompey losing 2-0 at Watford, Michael Kightly and Marvin Sordell on target.

Grant McCann's free-kick earned Peterborough a 1-1 draw at Birmingham City, while Nottingham Forest, twice behind, beat Ipswich Town 3-2 thanks to Marcus Tudgay's 91st-minute strike. In the Yorkshire derby at Barnsley, Craig Davies's double saw the bottom club, Doncaster Rovers, lose 2-0 to the Tykes.

League One

Jordan Rhodes scored twice as second-placed Huddersfield set a new record of 43 League games unbeaten, passing the previous mark set by Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest 33 years ago, with a 2-1 win at Notts County.

League Two

Leaders Southend United won 3-2 at Dagenham & Redbridge, who slip into the bottom two. Northampton, whose manager Gary Johnson left last week, lost 7-2 at home to Shrewsbury.

Scottish Premier

Two Anthony Stokes goals in the final half-hour saw Celtic win 2-0 at Inverness CT, who had Greg Tansey sent off in the first half.


Napoli prepared for their Champions' League showdown with Manchester City on Tuesday by having the better of a 0-0 draw at Serie A leaders Lazio, kept out by goalkeeper Federico Marchetti. Milan, who face Barcelona on Wednesday, also had to settle for a goalless match at Fiorentina, despite welcoming striker Alexandre Pato back from injury. Barcelona enjoyed an easy 4-0 home win over Real Zaragoza with Lionel Messi scoring his 15th league goal of the season from a Cesc Fabregas pass, while the leaders Real Madrid had to battle to a 3-2 win at Valencia.

Borussia Dortmund, who visit Arsenal on Wednesday, stepped up their Bundesliga challenge with a sixth win in seven games, beating the leaders Bayern Munich 1-0 with Mario Goetze's goal to move within two points. The action in Germany was overshadowed by the postponement of the match between Cologne and Mainz 40 minutes before kick-off when the 41-year-old referee Babak Rafati failed to appear after attempting suicide.