By James Agberebi:
Manchester City missed the chance to move further away from their top four rivals as they were held to a 2-2 draw against relegation threatened Middlesbrough at the Riverside in the Premier League on Sunday.
Nigerian forward Kelechi Iheanacho once again was left out of the City squad.
Former City forward Alvaro Negredo put Middlesbrough ahead in the first half but they were pegged back by Sergio Aguero from the penalty spot.
Arsenal on loan defender Calum Chambers thought he had sealed the win for Middlesbrough but Gabriel Jesus equalised to make sure both teams shared the spoils.
City remain fourth in the league table on 66 points while Middlesbrough are 19th on 28 points, six points away from safety.
Middlesbrough gradually clawed their way back into the game and went close in the 12th minute but former City forward Negredo shot wide from a good position.
City kept edging the exchanges but could not find the opening goal.
Against the run of play Middlesbrough scored in the 38th minute through Negredo who curled in a left foot strike off a cutback from Stewart Downing which came off the post following a counter attack.
Prior to the start of the second half City made two substitutions with Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling replacing Aleix Garcia and Gael Clichy respectively.
Sterling almost made an immediate impact in the 52nd minute but his goal-bound shot from Fernandinho’s pass was blocked.
City continued to create chances and had a chance to draw level in the 64th minute through Kevin De Bruyne whose effort from range did not bother Brad Guzan in goal for Middlesbrough.
City eventually drew level in the 69th minute thanks to Aguero who sent Guzan the wrong way after Marten De Roon brought down Sane.
Despite bossing the game following their equaliser, City found themselves 2-1 down in the 76th minute after Arsenal’s on loan defender Chambers poked in from close range off a goalmouth scramble.
City continued to fight back and were rewarded in the 85th minute through Jesus who rose the highest to head in Aguero’s cross.
City went in search of the winning goal but could not break down the Middlesbrough defence.