Middlesbrough

Martin O’Neill hails “best performance of the season”

Martin O’Neill hailed Nottingham Forest‘s best performance of the season after they beat Sky Bet Championship play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough 3-0 at the City Ground. Joe Lolley grabbed a brace either side of Alexander Milosevic’s volley to give the hosts a resounding win. Forest’s margin of victory would have been greater but for a fine performance from Darren Randolph in the Boro goal, with man-of-the-match Joao Carvalho in inspired form. “What we as a side have to do now is try and win away from home,” said O’Neill, whose side came into the game on the back of four straight defeats which had ended their own play-off aspirations. “It’s a question of saying this is a performance where we were terrific, the best performance of the season...

Result: Middlesbrough beat Stoke City to regain playoff spot

Britt Assombalonga‘s 14th goal of the season lifted Middlesbrough back into the Sky Bet Championship’s top six by securing a 1-0 win over Stoke at the Riverside Stadium. Assombalonga’s predatory flick in the second minute proved enough to ensure Boro made it three wins in a row for the first time since August and keep hopes of promotion alive. Boro boss Tony Pulis’ former club kept plugging away in search of an equaliser but found no way through to leave the Teesside crowd delighted. Stoke caused problems but they are already planning for next season under Nathan Jones. For Boro – in the midst of a defensive crisis following injuries to George Friend, Daniel Ayala and Dael Fry – Bristol City’s draw with Reading earlier in the day meant a win would mean climbin...

Tony Pulis “delighted” with Ashley Fletcher form

Tony Pulis praised two-goal Ashley Fletcher as Middlesbrough defeated crisis club Bolton to bounce back into the Skybet Championship play-off picture. The one-time Bolton schoolboy prospect, an unused substitute in Saturday’s defeat at Swansea, struck twice in the first half to give Tony Pulis’ side a 2-0 victory – Boro’s first success in eight games. “You get criticised for not playing him on Saturday,” said Pulis after his team’s badly-needed return to form. “But he is a young lad who is still growing into his body. People say ‘he is a young lad, he can run round the whole time.’ This is a different level and you have to play the level to understand it. “He has got two goals tonight and hopefully he can carry it on. I have been ...

Lee Johnson “delighted” as Bristol City move into playoff places

Lee Johnson likened his Bristol City side to “young gunslingers” as they shot down Middlesbrough to climb into the Sky Bet Championship play-off positions. Adam Webster’s first-half header lifted City into fifth position in the table, with the 1-0 win at the Riverside following hot on the heels of Saturday’s victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. Having been on the fringe of the promotion race for much of the season, City are now at the heart of the battle for a place in the Premier League, and Johnson is delighted with the way in which his young side have risen to the challenge of competing in the upper echelons of the table. Johnson said: “I was delighted with the boys. We have a big respect for the club, their players and managers and we were like t...

Result: Bristol City into playoff spots as Boro slump to fifth straight defeat

Bristol City moved into the Sky Bet Championship play-off places as Adam Webster‘s first-half header secured a 1-0 win at out-of-form Middlesbrough. Having beaten Sheffield United on Saturday, Lee Johnson’s side saw off another of their promotion rivals as they leapfrogged Derby and Aston Villa to move into the top six. Middlesbrough had plenty of opportunities, but Jonny Howson and Britt Assombalonga both hit the frame of the goal on another frustrating night for the hosts. Boro have now suffered five defeats in a row, and have slipped two points adrift of the play-off positions as their form has imploded at a critical stage of the season. Even the long-awaited return of Stewart Downing was unable to help them, with the former England international failing to arrest a goalless...

Liverpool ‘keen on Championship teenager Bilal Brahimi’

Liverpool consider a move for Middlesbrough teenager Bilal Brahimi, but will face competition from Newcastle United, according to a report. Liverpool are reportedly considering a move for Middlesbrough teenager Bilal Brahimi. Brahimi, who joined Boro from Portuguese outfit Leixoes in 2017, made his first-team debut in the EFL Cup earlier this season, appearing as a substitute against Rochdale. The 18-year-old has not seen since, though, and according to TEAMtalk, Liverpool are preparing to swoop for the attacker, who has not been able to agree a new deal at the Riverside Stadium. The same report, however, has claimed that Jurgen Klopp‘s side will face competition from Newcastle United for a player who has appeared on one occasion for France’s Under-19 side. Brahimi – born...

Liverpool ‘are keen on Championship teenager Bilal Brahimi’

Liverpool consider a move for Middlesbrough teenager Bilal Brahimi, but will face competition from Newcastle United, according to a report. Liverpool are reportedly considering a move for Middlesbrough teenager Bilal Brahimi. Brahimi, who joined Boro from Portuguese outfit Leixoes in 2017, made his first-team debut in the EFL Cup earlier this season, appearing as a substitute against Rochdale. The 18-year-old has not seen since, though, and according to TEAMtalk, Liverpool are preparing to swoop for the attacker, who has not been able to agree a new deal at the Riverside Stadium. The same report, however, has claimed that Jurgen Klopp‘s side will face competition from Newcastle United for a player who has appeared on one occasion for France’s Under-19 side. Brahimi – born...

Alex Neil feels for Tony Pulis over controversial Daniel Ayala dismissal

Alex Neil had sympathy for Middlesbrough counterpart Tony Pulis after a controversial sending-off helped Preston leave the Riverside Stadium with three points after a 2-1 win. Boro took the lead in the 32nd minute when Ashley Fletcher scored for the third home game in a row, and they wasted a flurry of chances after that to see the victory through. But for the second game inside five days, Middlesbrough allowed the lead to slip and ended up losing when Paul Gallagher’s 63rd minute free-kick was followed by Jayden Stockley’s header eight minutes from time. Gallagher’s leveller had stemmed from the red card Daniel Ayala was issued for a strong, last-ditch challenge on Brandon Barker when referee Keith Stroud deemed it was out of control despite winning the ball. Neil, whose side are two poin...

Thomas Frank responds to critics after Brentford secure rare away win

Thomas Frank believes Brentford silenced the critics who have labelled his team “weak” by securing a first win at Middlesbrough since 1938. The Bees won away from Griffin Park for just the second time during this Sky Bet Championship campaign by coming from behind to beat Boro 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium. Brentford moved to within six points of the play-off places after an own goal from Middlesbrough defender Ryan Shotton with 20 minutes remaining was followed by Said Benrahma’s winner three minutes later. Boro had taken a sixth-minute lead courtesy of Ashley Fletcher’s second league goal of the campaign. Bees boss Frank said: “Sometimes stats don’t tell the whole story. We knew it was coming and it would be nice to get a win against one of the big teams and this was like a big win. “It w...

Chris Wilder delighted with Sheffield United’s reaction against Middlesbrough

Chris Wilder was pleased with the reaction of his Sheffield United players as they beat Middlesbrough 1-0 a few days after their capitulation at Aston Villa thanks to substitute Richard Stearman’s first goal of the campaign. Last Friday, the Blades threw away a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 at Villa Park but they bounced back with a hard-earned victory – which saw them close the gap on the top two to just two points – against their fellow promotion hopefuls, with Stearman heading home Oliver Norwood’s free-kick just past the hour mark. Boro’s woes were compounded three minutes later as Daniel Ayala’s rash challenge on Kieran Dowell led to a second booking and an early bath to leave Tony Pulis’ men up against it. “It’s been a really difficult couple of days,” admitted Wilder. “We felt we had to prod...

Marcelo Bielsa felt Leeds should have won at Middlesbrough

Marcelo Bielsa felt that Leeds created enough chances to win at Middlesbrough after a late goal from Kalvin Phillips snatched a 1-1 draw at the Riverside Stadium. Phillips was on hand in the six-yard box to head over the line in the 11th minute of added time after an incident in the visitors’ dugout in the latter stages of the game on Teesside. Leeds’ teenage winger Jack Clarke, who had been withdrawn at half-time, had to be taken to hospital after feeling unwell as he watched the second half. The game was stopped for seven minutes and led to referee Darren England asking for 12 extra minutes beyond the 90 when Middlesbrough led through Lewis Wing’s opener soon after half-time. And it was at the end of stoppage-time when Leeds midfielder Phillips was in the right place to head his side lev...

Result: Phillips turns the screw as Leeds claim point at Middlesbrough

Kalvin Phillips headed Leeds back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship with an equaliser in the 11th minute of stoppage time to frustrate Middlesbrough. Boro looked like climbing to within four points of the top two at the Riverside Stadium courtesy of Lewis Wing’s opener less than two minutes after the restart. But then Leeds’ perseverance finally paid off when they found a way to break down Middlesbrough’s resistance. That was the case even though more than 100 minutes of football had to be played because of an interruption in play towards the end of the game when someone on the Leeds bench needed medical attention. Leeds knew that avoiding defeat would lift them back to the top of the Championship. But despite plenty of attacking play and movement, Marcelo Bielsa’s team were unable to...

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