Chelsea and Manchester City played out a thrilling 4-4 draw in the Premier League in early November. It wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last, but it’s still a scoreline that very rarely pops up.
Middlesbrough have featured regularly in the Premier League since it was founded in the early 1990s.
Middlesbrough have been stuck in the Championship since 2017/18 and former Manchester United and England midfielder Michael Carrick is the latest in a long list of managers given the duty of leading them back to the Premier League. He nearly succeeded during his first season in charge, with Boro finishing fourth. They were knocked out of the play-offs by Coventry City.
Middlesbrough's early history
Boro were formed in 1876 and won the FA Amateur Cup in 1895 and 1898. This came off the back of Middlesbrough reverting to being an amateur club in 1892, having gone professional back in 1889.
In 1899, Boro once again turned professional. After three seasons, they won promotion to the First Division and they subsequently enjoyed a 22-year unbroken spell in the top flight.
Boro enjoyed a successful run before the start of World War One. In 1913/14, they managed to finish as high as third in the top flight, which remains the best league finish in the club's history.
Middlesbrough were relegated from the First Division in 1923/24, but three seasons later, they bounced back by winning the Division Two title.
Boro were relegated after only one season back in the top flight, but were then promoted at the first attempt. The club then remained a First Division club until 1954.
Middlesbrough's bumpy road in the late 20th century
Middlesbrough were relegated in 1953/54 and spent 20 years outside of the top division.
Stan Anderson came in as manager and guided the club back to the second tier of English soccer at the first attempt. By 1974, Jack Charlton had taken over as manager and led Middlesbrough back to the top flight.
In the 1975/76 season, Middlesbrough picked up their first trophy as a professional club, winning the Anglo-Scottish Cup with a two-legged final victory over Fulham. The previous season had seen them finish seventh in the First Division, just five points off winning the league.
By the mid-1980s, Middlesbrough had fallen into severe financial difficulties. They had been relegated to the Second Division in 1982 and their on-field form continued to plummet.
That season ultimately saw Middlesbrough relegated to the third tier of English football.
A provisional liquidator was called in that summer and the club needed £350,000 for Football League registration, which appeared to be a potentially insurmountable obstacle for a financially ailing club. However, board member Steve Gibson brought together a consortium and Middlesbrough completed their registration to the Football League with 10 minutes to spare.
Over the following two seasons, Middlesbrough gained promotion to Division Two and then back into Division One. They continued to bounce between the top two tiers of English football.
Middlesbrough in the Premier League era
Player-manager Bryan Robson took charge in 1994, putting the spotlight back on the club. Following promotion to the Premier League and signings including star players Juninho and Fabrizio Ravanelli, Boro were considered to be on the rise.
However, Boro were relegated after the 1996/97 season despite all of their star names. The failure to honour a fixture at Blackburn in December 1996 saw them docked three points, which ultimately sunk them. In the same season, they also reached the League Cup and FA Cup finals, losing to Leicester City and Chelsea respectively.
Despite the loss of their stars, they did attract former Arsenal legend Paul Merson, who was instrumental in Boro's 1997/98 successful promotion campaign.
In the 2003/04 season, Middlesbrough won the League Cup, securing the trophy with a 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers in the final.
In 2006, Middlesbrough reached the final of the UEFA Cup, losing 4-0 to Sevilla. However, their campaign was noted for their ability to come back from three goals down against both FC Basel in the quarter-finals and Steaua Bucharest in the semis, with Massimo Maccarone scoring late winners in both fixtures.
McClaren went on to manage the England national team after the defeat against Sevilla and he was replaced in the Boro hotseat by club captain Gareth Southgate, who oversaw 12th and 13th-place finishes in his first two seasons in charge.
Southgate was sacked in October 2009, despite Boro being one point off an automatic promotion place, and they then went through a number of managers and mid-table finishes.
Middlesbrough won promotion to the Premier League again under Aitor Karanka in 2016, but Karanka was sacked in March 2017 and Boro were relegated at the first attempt.
Since he joined, he turned around the fortunes of the club. Boro were in 21st place when he arrived, but ended up finishing fourth in the 2022/23 season. This saw them qualify for the play-offs, but they were eliminated by Coventry at the semi-final stage.
Opened in 1995 as one of the first of the modern stadiums, The Riverside currently has a capacity of 34,742. Their previous ground was Ayresome Park.
Boro are not one of the most recognised teams in the world, but they are a traditional club with working class roots. Fans of the club are traditionally from Middlesbrough itself or the surrounding towns.
Middlesbrough have one of the highest proportions of female ticket holders, standing at 20%.
Boro were also the first club in the world to launch their own TV channel, Boro TV, in 1997.
Middlesbrough's fiercest rivalry is generally considered to be with Sunderland, with the two clubs competing in the Tees-Wear derby. Middlesbrough also have a fierce rivalry with Sunderland's big rivals Newcastle United, with that rivalry being named the Tyne-Tees derby.
Leeds United are also seen as rivals by the two teams' fans, as shown in a planetfootball.com survey in 2004.
Middlesbrough local and childhood fan Steve Gibson remains Boro's owner and chairman.