MX23RW : Tuesday, October 16 10:45:01
Apr 6, 2008 at 3pm UK at ​Riverside Stadium
Middlesbrough
2-2
Man UtdManchester United
Alves (35', 56')
Young (48'), Boateng (68'), O'Neil (86')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Ronaldo (10'), Rooney (74')
Rooney (55')

On this day: Afonso Alves nets first Middlesbrough goals

Seven years ago today, £12.5m signing Afonso Alves scored his first goals in Middlesbrough colours when Manchester United visited the Riverside Stadium.

When Middlesbrough parted with a club-record fee of £12.75m to secure the services of Afonso Alves in January 2008, there was much excitement on Teeside.

While there will not have been many people that had seen the Brazilian international in action, his goalscoring record for Heerenveen was highly impressive.

Afonso Alves of Middlesbrough is challenged by Patrice Evra of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Middlesbrough and Manchester United at the Riverside Stadium on April 6, 2008© Getty Images

In total, Alves fired in 48 goals in as many outings for the Eredivisie club - a record that captured the attention of Brazil head coach Dunga.

However, from the off, the forward found it hard to replicate that form in the Premier League, so much so that when Manchester United visited the Riverside Stadium seven years ago today, he had failed to score in his first eight outings.

There was just 10 minutes on the clock when the title-chasing visitors broke the deadlock through Cristiano Ronaldo, who turned in Michael Carrick's drilled cross at the back post.

On this occasion, though, Alves would not have to wait too much longer to break his goalscoring duck in England.

Twenty-five minutes after Ronaldo had given United the lead, Alves raced clear to collect Gary O'Neil's long pass forward, before showing great composure to beat Edwin van der Sar from 10 yards out.

And the Boro number 12 was not done there. In the 56th minute, Jeremie Aliadiere beat Wes Brown in an aerial duel and when the ball broke kindly for Alves, he curled his shot inside Van der Sar's far post.

Yet, it would not be a match-winning impact from Alves as United hit back 16 minutes from time.

Substitute Park Ji-Sung picked out Wayne Rooney inside the Boro area and despite not producing the cleanest of shots, it got the better of home goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer thanks to a deflection off David Wheater.

There were suggestions after the final whistle that Alves's two-goal contribution would see his career at Boro take off, but such performances never materialised.

When he left for Al-Saad in 2009, Alves had scored just 13 goals, each of which cost Boro almost £1m when you take into consideration the transfer fee that he commanded.

BORO: Schwarzer; Young, Wheater, Pogatetz, Taylor; O'Neil, Boateng, Arca, Downing; Alves (Sanli), Aliadiere (Johnson)

MAN UNITED: Van der Sar; O'Shea (Hargreaves), Ferdinand (Pique), Brown, Evra; Ronaldo, Scholes, Carrick, Giggs; Tevez (Park), Rooney

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Manchester United's Portugese midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo (L) celebrates with English forward Wayne Rooney after scoring his second goal against Portsmouth on January 30, 2008
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City86202131820
2Chelsea86201851320
3Liverpool86201531220
4Arsenal86021910918
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs8602157818
6Bournemouth85121612416
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves843196315
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
9Watford84131112-113
10Leicester CityLeicester84041412212
11Everton83321312112
12Burnley82241012-28
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8224913-48
14Crystal Palace821559-47
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham8215813-57
16Southampton8125614-85
17Fulham8125921-125
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield8035417-133
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8026613-72
20Cardiff CityCardiff8026417-132

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