Manchester City 1 Middlesbrough 1: Marten drives Pep's boys Roon the twist
Last-gasp marksman Marten de Roon was in ecstasy after securing a precious Premier League point for Middlesbrough at Manchester City.
The £12million summer signing from Italian club Atalanta struck his first goal for the Teessiders in stoppage time to cancel out Sergio Aguero’s opener.
He got a thunderous header to Stewart Downing’s pinpoint cross to shatter home keeper Claudio Bravo.
De Roon said: “I don’t believe it yet, it was an incredible moment, and against Man City where normally it is really difficult to get points.
“At the end to score for 1-1, it feels like a victory. If you are 90 minutes 1-0 behind and you make it in the last minute against Man City, it is a really welcome point.”
The draw made it five points in a great three-game run for Boro, following a 0-0 draw at Arsenal and a first home victory, 2-0 against Bournemouth.
Boro, though, did ride their luck. They defended deep and allowed the hosts to take charge.
It took Pep Guardiola’s City some time to prise a way through as Victor Valdes produced good saves to deny Aleksandar Kolarov, David Silva and Aguero, among other City opportunities, but the result seemed a formality at half-time, after Aguero hit his 150th City goal.
Things changed as Boro began to assert themselves more after the break and force errors, but Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne both spurned gilt-edged chances to secure victory late on.
That came back to haunt them as midfielder de Roon pounced.
Boro boss Aitor Karanka was pleased with another valuable away point.
He said: “Arsenal and Man City have amazing squads, so for us to compete against them at their stadiums is good for us. This was much more difficult because against Arsenal we didn’t concede a goal and we created a few chances.
“(At City) We went onto the pitch and showed them too much respect. In the first half, we just tried to defend and when you are against big teams and you just think you are going to defend, you concede a goal. For that reason at half-time I told them we had to try to play.”
Karanka admitted De Roon’s goal was a sweet moment. He said: “I felt amazing because I had 11 players fighting 90 minutes on the pitch and I know how important it is to them to take this point or the one we took at Arsenal.
“This is the way to keep going, playing against these teams and showing we can compete.”
City keeper Bravo admitted: “It is disappointing.
“We had been creating chances and playing good but we didn’t get the result. We got possession and created lots of chances but we didn’t score many goals. It is very hard to play against teams like Middlesbrough, but we need to improve both in attack and defence.
“There is never an easy game, but we want to beat every team either at home and away.”
Man City: Bravo, Zabaleta, Stones, Kolarov, Clichy, Fernandinho, Jesus Navas (Garcia 86), De Bruyne, Gundogan (Nolito 75), Silva, Aguero (Iheanacho 90). Subs not used: Kompany, Caballero, Sane, Maffeo. Booked: Aguero. Goal: Aguero 43.
Middlesbrough: Valdes, Barragan, Chambers, Gibson, Friend, Traore (Stuani 90), Forshaw, Clayton, de Roon, Downing (Fischer 78), Negredo. Subs not used: Da Silva, Bernardo, Leadbitter, Guzan, Nugent. Booked: Forshaw, Clayton, de Roon. Goal: de Roon 90.
Att: 54,294. Ref: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).