Manchester City's Sergio Aguero escapes with the ball from Middlesbrough's Marten de Roon, left, and Adam Clayton, behind, during their English Premier League soccer match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday Nov. 5, 2016. (Martin Rickett / PA via AP)
MANCHESTER, Nov 5: Marten de Roon headed a late equalizer as Middlesbrough snatched a 1-1 draw against Manchester City in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Sergio Aguero's 150th City goal just before halftime looked like earning the hosts another three points but Pep Guardiola's team paid the price for failing to kill off the game.
City had 18 shots to Middlesbrough's none in the first half but the team's intensity dropped after the break and it was caught out when De Roon headed in Stewart Downing's cross in stoppage time.
Before that, Boro created few clear-cut opportunities but it was never out of the game as the effort required to beat Barcelona on Tuesday caught up with City.
That seemed the case early on as City, which apparently rested Raheem Sterling, made a sluggish start. But with Boro having arrived seemingly expecting an onslaught and setting up accordingly, often with 10 men in the box, allowed City to take charge.
The host dominated possession and the chances eventually began to come in waves. Kevin De Bruyne had a free kick blocked, Fernandinho fired a shot wide, and Ilkay Gundogan failed to find the target after a good break down the right.
Boro goalkeeper Victor Valdes was first called into action to deal with a long-range effort from Aleksandar Kolarov before De Bruyne shot across the face of goal. Valdes then denied Aguero after a clever backheel from Silva, who was ruled offside as he attempted to pounce on the rebound.
After Aguero put another attempt wide, the breakthrough finally came just before the interval. Boro again had players back in numbers but that did not prevent De Bruyne from curling in an inch-perfect ball into the box for Aguero to clip home first time from six yards.
Jesus Navas almost added an immediate second, striking the outside of the post.
There was alarm as Fernandinho lost possession on halfway and Boro broke but Downing drilled a shot across goal. Alvaro Negredo, facing former club City, also got clear down the right and fired in a dangerous low cross but John Stones just beat Forshaw to the ball.
Aguero should have made it 2-0 when he was picked out in the area by Navas five minutes from time but, despite having time to line up his shot, fired over.
That was a major let-off for Boro and it took advantage as Downing curled in a superb cross and De Roon made a perfect run to head home at the back post. It was too late for City to respond and two points were dropped.