Middlesbrough vs Blackburn Rovers: Match Report

A scrappy affair sees Blackburn Rovers walk away 0-1 winners at the Riverside keeping them in the hunt for a play-off place. 

This game wasn’t won without a bit of luck, Rovers were fortunate to get away with a penalty and being reduced to 10 and were saved on several occasions by keeper Thomas Kaminski.

After being dominated for the majority of the game Joe Rothwell scored what would be the only goal of the game after a fine move cutting open the Middlesbrough defence.

Tony Mowbray made one change from the team that drew 1-1 last weekend against Stoke which saw Jacob Davenport enter the starting 11 for only his second ever Rovers start replacing Bradley Dack who dropped to the bench.

It was the visitors who started off the brighter of the two sides as some nice play from Davenport and Barry Douglas set up the first chance of the game which Adam Armstrong fired wide on his left foot.

Soon after, injury struck Blackburn again as Bradley Johnson’s afternoon came to end just 10 minutes into proceedings with what appeared to be a slight hamstring injury and was replaced by academy graduate John Buckley.

Then came a big moment in the game, as Jarrad Branthwaite’s outstretched high boot caught Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry in the eye as he attacked the cross. The home team searched for a penalty but nothing was given. There was a significant amount of damage caused to the big central defender which forced him to leave the pitch with what was described as a severe facial injury.

The rest of the half was extremely scrappy broken up by a lack of control in possession and many set pieces, the best of which was a Britt Assombalonga free kick right on the edge of the away teams 18-yard box which was well saved by Kaminski as he tipped it over the bar.

The hosts had two other chances from set pieces as the ball was cleared by the Rovers defence Marc Bola and Sam Morsy both saw their efforts drift wide of Kaminski’s left-hand post.

Half Time Middlesbrough 0-0 Blackburn Rovers

This marked a ninth first half without a goal in Rovers last 10 matches.

The second half began very much like the first half ended Boro looking dangerous on their right hand side as Djed Spence and Marcus Tavernier linked up well with the former seeing his near post effort well saved by the extremely busy Kaminski.

Rovers managed to find a bit of space to attack for the first time in this game as Lewis Travis broke forward from midfield with options either side but he held on for it too long and was fouled a long way from goal wasting a good attacking opportunity.

This game had the feel that whoever scored the first goal would win it and it was the home side, with yet another chance from a set piece as Jonny Howson’s header forced Kaminski into a stunning save before Nathan Wood’s follow-up was thumped of the post.

Middlesbrough’s set plays were causing many issues for Rovers and it felt it was only a matter of time until one was converted.

However, it was the visitors who took the lead through a well constructed move with a nice little give and go between Armstrong and Harvey Elliott and the Liverpool loanee squared it across goal for Rothwell to tap home.

The goal seemed to light a spark in the Rovers team who flipped the game on its head and all the pressure was now on the home team. Rovers were chasing a second goal Barry Douglas fired over as substitute Sam Gallagher attacked Armstrong’s cross.

Armstrong had a golden chance to put the game to bed, after some great work from Ben Brereton the former Newcastle striker was through on goal but his attempted chip over Marcus Bettinelli was well saved.

Rovers had yet another chance to kill the game off as Bradley Dack played a glorious ball through to Gallagher who teed up Armstrong but the inform striker will be disappointed as he fired over from close range.

The referee gave six minutes off added on time but Rovers managed to hang on to what is a very important three points and clean sheet.

Full Time Middlesbrough 0-1 Blackburn Rovers 

 

 

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