Match ends, Middlesbrough 2, Derby County 0.
- Bamford scores against his former club
- Boro joint top of the table
- Shotton sent off for visitors
- Miserable return to the Riverside for McClaren
Middlesbrough ended the day joint top of the Championship table after defeating previous leaders Derby County.
Ex-Derby loanee Patrick Bamford sidefooted in Adam Reach's cross after six minutes and was brought down by Ryan Shotton for a second-half penalty.
Shotton was dismissed before Grant Leadbitter converted from the spot.
Banned Boro boss Aitor Karanka watched from the stands but it made little difference to the impressive victors.
Derby, leaders at kick-off, were looking for only their second win at the Riverside this century.
But it was the hosts who made the perfect start when Chelsea starlet Bamford tucked away Reach's pass from seven yards.
It was the promising 21-year-old's sixth goal in seven games for Middlesbrough, with whom he wants to remain beyond the expiry of his loan deal in January.
Bamford, who would later depart to a standing ovation, came close to doubling the lead after collecting a Leadbitter through ball but was denied by Derby keeper Lee Grant, who completed a superb double save by palming away Jelle Vossen's rebound effort.
Jeff Hendrick wasted a rare first-half Derby chance, curling tamely at Dimitrios Konstantopoulos after a poor clearance by the Boro keeper.
McClaren made two changes at the break, with Omar Mascarell and Simon Dawkins replaced by Jordan Ibe and Leon Best.
But it failed to stifle the home side's dominance and the former Middlesbrough boss made his final change on the hour, replacing Hendrick with Will Hughes.
However, moments later things went from bad to worse for Derby when Shotton tripped Bamford in the area and saw red.
The lively Leadbitter thrashed the spot-kick low into Grant's net to put Boro, albeit temporarily, top of the Championship for the first time in two years.
They were later replaced by Bournemouth, who defeated Cardiff City 5-3.
Middlesbrough and Bournemouth have the same goal difference but the Cherries have scored more goals.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka: "I think it's the best afternoon of my career here. We played the best team in the league and are in a very good position in the table.
"It was a very good performance and I want to dedicate the victory to my staff because they are always with me.
"I could not be on the bench and they were brilliant once again."
Derby manager Steve McClaren: "Our performance was not the usual standard; it was poor. We talked all week about how organised this Middlesbrough side is.
"Normally we are around 80% in pass completion but I think today the figure will be nearer 50%.
"Credit to Middlesbrough. Once they scored the first goal, they got their tails up and deserved to win."
- 4AyalaBooked at 29mins
- 7LeadbitterBooked at 81mins
- 21VossenSubstituted forWildschutat 78'minutes
- 23BamfordSubstituted forKikeat 74'minutes
- 32ShottonBooked at 62mins
- 3ForsythBooked at 75mins
- 8HendrickBooked at 53minsSubstituted forHughesat 61'minutes
- 33MascarellSubstituted forIbeat 45'minutes
- 4BrysonBooked at 71mins
- 7DawkinsSubstituted forBestat 45'minutes
- Roger East
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 2, Derby County 0.
Craig Forsyth (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kike (Middlesbrough).
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Richard Keogh.
Richard Keogh (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kike (Middlesbrough).
Johnny Russell (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).
Attempt saved. Craig Bryson (Derby County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Martin.
Johnny Russell (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Yanic Wildschut (Middlesbrough).
Attempt blocked. George Friend (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Clayton.
Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.
Chris Martin (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Craig Bryson.
Substitution, Middlesbrough. Yanic Wildschut replaces Jelle Vossen.
Foul by Leon Best (Derby County).
Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.