Middlesbrough 2-2 Manchester City: Boro give survival hopes a boost against frustrated City

Middlesbrough continued their recent run of good form as they look to battle for Premier League survival, as a late header from Gabriel Jesus denied them three points in their eventual 2-2 draw with Manchester City.

It was a hectic start from both sides with Jesus and Cristhian Stuani coming close in the opening 15 minutes, before Álvaro Negredo opened the scoring against his old side just before the break.

The second period started off slow but it was shrouded in controversy when Leroy Sané won a penalty which Sergio Agüero converted. Calum Chambers picked the perfect time to get his opening Boro goal to regain their lead, but Jesus managed to secure a point in the final five minutes.

From the word go

Boro headed into this clash having recorded their first win of 2017 midweek, but they were coming up against Pep Guardiola's side who were looking to solidify their top four position and were bombarding Brad Guzan's goal from the word go.

It was good play as Agüero played a one-two with Fernandinho as the Brazilian powered his way through to the by-line, he put it back across goal with Jesus waiting but he couldn't turn it home on his return to the staring XI.

Boro then had their own opportunity in the 13th minute, as City failed to clear a succession of corners with Fabio eventually swinging it back in. It was flicked on by Ben Gibson with Negredo at the back post, the Spaniard drilled it back across the face of goal from a tight angle and Stuani was inches away from turning it home.

Taking an unexpected lead

Steve Agnew's side have found goals hard to come by this campaign, and Negredo showed his old side what they were missing as they gave the underdogs a crucial lead.

It was an excellent counter move from the Teesside outfit with the ball coming to Stewart Downing. The veteran then did well to hit the low ball into his teammate on the edge of the box. It was a poor touch but the ball fell perfectly for Negredo and his excellent effort came off the post and into the net, giving Willy Caballero no chance.

Coming back in controversial circumstances

It was a slow start for both sides in the second period, but City were handed a lifeline in somewhat controversial circumstances as Kevin Friend awarded the Sky Blues a penalty.

Second-half substitute Sané did well to burst into the area before been brought down by Martin de Roon; the Dutchman heavily protested the challenge which on second glance looked harsh but Friend pointed to the spot. Agüero stepped up and he made no mistake as he stuck it in the left-hand corner.

Taking back a crucial lead

Despite their lead having been depleted, Boro were going strong and Chambers couldn't have picked a better time to score his first goal for Boro as he regained the home side's lead with 13 minutes to play.

It was scrappy from hosts but they did not care as Negredo did well to keep the danger alive after Caballero attempted to palm the free-kick away. Boro though kept trying and Chambers did well to turn the ball into the net from six yards out.

​De Roon then looked to redeem himself for giving away the supposed penalty as he went for goal in the 84th minute. The Dutchman to try let fly from 25 yards but it was straight down the throat of Caballero.

Marking his return in style

It would be fair to say that Guardiola's side had missed Jesus over the past weeks and months during his injury, but he showed his impact midweek in the Manchester derby and made the difference at the Riverside Stadium as he grabbed the crucial equaliser with five minutes to play.

It was easy enough for the Brazilian as he waited in the wings as Agüero chipped a ball into the area, the Brazilian rose highest as he headed it into the bottom corner.

The visitors now sit in fourth in the Premier League, only one point behind Liverpool. Middlesbrough meanwhile are now six points from safety.