Derby County 1-2 Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough's Muhamed Besic fights for possession with Andre Wisdom of Derby County
Muhamed Besic's goal was his first and came in his 69th appearance in English football

Middlesbrough need four points from their remaining two games to be completely sure of a Championship play-off place after a professional win over fellow top-six chasers Derby County.

The Rams started brightly but trailed at the break to Muhamed Besic's strike.

Tom Lawrence almost levelled before Britt Assombalonga slotted in a second after good work by Adama Traore.

David Nugent's late penalty brought hope of an equaliser, but Derby could not avoid a third successive defeat.

Boro, in fifth, are now four points ahead of the Rams, who do have a game in hand but remain out of form and low on confidence despite showing some encouraging signs at Pride Park.

Demoralising defeats against the bottom two Burton Albion and Sunderland had already put an end to any lingering hopes of gaining automatic promotion.

Captain Curtis Davies has questioned the commitment of his team-mates while manager Gary Rowett has said they "owed the fans a performance to be proud of".

The early signs were good in a high-tempo and open start where Bradley Johnson was narrowly off target with a stooping header.

Derby County goalkeeper Scott Carson
Derby keeper Scott Carson has only kept three clean sheets in 13 matches

But Boro also looked sharp and went ahead when Besic powered the ball past Scott Carson after some impressive persistence and a fine pull-back by Traore.

Derby maintained a threat, mainly through the excellent Lawrence, the Wales winger sending one effort just wide and teeing up a chance for Nugent who was off target with a strike when he had better options in the box.

But Traore laid on another goal, this time a simple close-range finish for Assombalonga's 14th goal of the season.

And Boro held on for victory despite Nugent slotting in from the spot after Daniel Ayala brought down Curtis Davies.

Derby manager Gary Rowett:

"Against a Tony Pulis side, once you allow that first goal to come in, then it's difficult because you allow them to counter-attack and especially with a player like Adama Traore.

"I can't fault the players' desire and effort today. They were trying as hard as they could to make something happen.

"I feel like a broken record for the last 10 weeks but we're in the same position we were in before the game.

"We've got to step up and perform and while today was better, it wasn't quite enough ultimately."

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis:

"It was a smashing performance. We created some wonderful chances, and we've got to hit the target and make sure the goalkeeper makes saves.

"We have to be a little more clinical but I thought we played really well today. I can't give the players any more praise because Derby gave us a proper game.

"We've got a tough game against Millwall next week so we've got to dust ourselves down and make sure we take the good stuff out of this game. It's tough game after tough game - but that's what this league is."



  • 1Carson
  • 6Keogh
  • 33Davies
  • 3Forsyth
  • 14Wisdom
  • 44HuddlestoneBooked at 36minsSubstituted forHansonat 71'minutesBooked at 84mins
  • 15Johnson
  • 29OlssonSubstituted forWeimannat 63'minutes
  • 10Lawrence
  • 23VydraSubstituted forPalmerat 63'minutes
  • 28NugentBooked at 16mins


  • 7Palmer
  • 16Pearce
  • 19Weimann
  • 21Roos
  • 26Hanson
  • 32Jerome
  • 36Ledley


  • 25Randolph
  • 5Shotton
  • 4Ayala
  • 6Gibson
  • 3Friend
  • 16Howson
  • 8ClaytonBooked at 1mins
  • 27BesicSubstituted forLeadbitterat 81'minutes
  • 37TraoréBooked at 32mins
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 19DowningSubstituted forda Silvaat 85'minutes


  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 2da Silva
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 14Cranie
  • 20Fry
  • 21Johnson
  • 23Harrison
Lee Probert

Match Stats

Home TeamDerbyAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Derby County 1, Middlesbrough 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Derby County 1, Middlesbrough 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Andre Wisdom (Derby County).

  4. Post update

    Adama Traoré (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Derby County 1, Middlesbrough 2. David Nugent (Derby County) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  6. Post update

    Penalty Derby County. Curtis Davies draws a foul in the penalty area.

  7. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) after a foul in the penalty area.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Derby County. Conceded by George Friend.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Daniel Ayala.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Fabio replaces Stewart Downing.

  11. Booking

    Jamie Hanson (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Jamie Hanson (Derby County).

  13. Post update

    Adama Traoré (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Britt Assombalonga.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Britt Assombalonga.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Darren Randolph.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Tom Lawrence (Derby County) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Andre Wisdom.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Stewart Downing.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Grant Leadbitter replaces Muhamed Besic.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Curtis Davies (Derby County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jamie Hanson with a cross following a corner.

As It Stood

4Aston Villa4424101071403182
10Bristol City4417151265551066
11Sheff Utd44199165952766
15Sheff Wed441314175459-553
17Nottm Forest43147224662-1649
View full Championship table

Top Stories