MIDDLESBROUGH midfielder Doriva's clash with Manchester United's Paul Scholes could be the subject of an FA probe.

The governing body yesterday confirmed they are awaiting referee Paul Durkin's report before deciding whether to take any action over the first-half incident in Boro's stunning 3-2 victory at Old Trafford.

Brazilian Doriva was on the receiving end when Scholes was seen to push him in the face, but the United midfielder escaped punishment.

In a statement on their website, the FA said: "Following an incident involving Paul Scholes and Doriva in the match between Manchester United and Middlesbrough, the FA will await the referee's report to ascertain whether or not Paul Durkin saw the incident."

If he missed the incident, but is aware it occurred, he could advise in his report that the FA's video advisory panel review what happened.

But if the Dorset official witnessed the incident and elected to take no action, Scholes could be in the clear.

However, even if Durkin fails to mention the incident in his report, the FA are empowered to study video evidence and level charges.

Manager Steve McClaren picked out the combative Doriva as one of his side's key performers in another memorable Old Trafford triumph for Boro, who also beat United on their own patch by the same scoreline in December 1998, and 1-0 nearly two years ago.

McClaren, who diplomatically maintained he had not seen the spat with Scholes, declared: "Doriva is consistent, week-in week-out. He has been magnificent for us, especially with George Boateng being out injured and suspended.''

Boro skipper Gareth Southgate was equally complimentary. "When you see that Roy Keane is not in the United side, it helps, but Doriva was absolutely magnificent.''

McClaren, former assistant to United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, insisted Boro hadn't been encouraged by the Red Devils' defensive frailties.

Rio Ferdinand's suspension for failing to report for a drugs test is hitting United hard, while Gary Neville was missing against Boro and a struggling Wes Brown was replaced by Phil Neville at half-time.

McClaren said: "We didn't pay too much attention to the fact that United's defence have been letting in goals lately, because they are still a very good team.

"We said that, whatever team they play, we have to play well. We thought that, if we passed well, we would have chances and so it proved.

"We rode our luck at times - Mark Schwarzer made saves, Gareth Southgate made a great block and Diego Forlan hit the bar at the end.

"But our players were magnificent and the defending from the front was fantastic.''

McClaren is adamant his old club can still hold on to the Premiership title, despite slipping five points behind leaders Arsenal.

"There is still a long way to go and there will be a few slip-ups yet," said McClaren. "Manchester United have the experience to handle the pressure when it really counts. There is no-one better in that situation and I wouldn't write them off yet."

Meanwhile, Boro right-back Danny Mills is walking a disciplinary tightrope after picking up his ninth booking of the season on Wednesday night.

A tenth before the second Sunday in April would mean a two-match ban for the on-loan Leeds defender, who has already served a one-game suspension this season for five bookings.

Boro right-back Robbie Stockdale, one who has suffered because of Mills' arrival, is wanted on loan by Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore.

Scottish international Stockdale, who has also interested Ipswich Town boss Joe Royle, has already been on loan at West Ham this season.

Read more about Middlesbrough here.