Championship
Bristol City0Middlesbrough2

Bristol City 0-2 Middlesbrough: Boro maintain unbeaten league start

Martin Braithwaite opens the scoring
Martin Braithwaite tucked past Bristol City keeper Niki Maenpaa to open the scoring

Middlesbrough's unbeaten start to the season continued with victory at Ashton Gate against an uninspiring, injury-hit Bristol City side.

Tony Pulis' visitors took advantage of some poor Robins defending early on as Martin Braithwaite applied a simple finish to grab his third goal of the season.

Britt Assombalonga's header from Stewart Downing's dinked cross doubled the lead before half-time.

Winless Bristol City saw far more of the ball but failed to turn their greater share of possession into clear chances.

The closest Lee Johnson's side came to a goal was when Eros Pisano headed against the crossbar late on, as they lost at home for the second time in four days after Tuesday's shock Carabao Cup exit at home to Plymouth.

Centre-back Aden Flint, who switched from Bristol City to Boro for a reported fee of about £7m in June, was facing his old side for the first time after five seasons at Ashton Gate.

The impact of the sale of the 6ft 6in talisman on the Robins' defence had been exacerbated by injuries to four of the club's defensive options, with Nathan Baker, Bailey Wright, Taylor Moore and Jens Hegeler all out.

And hesitation at the back led to the opening goal for in-form Denmark striker Braithwaite's opener, as Boro made it three wins and a draw from their first four league games of the season, while the Robins have two points from three Championship matches.

Bristol City boss Lee Johnson told BBC Radio Bristol:

"I think I should apologise to the fans for our first half performance. It was soft and disappointing because we knew about the physical attributes of our opponents.

"We huffed and puffed and tried to blow their house down. Their house was made of brick and ours was made of paper... as it proved for the first goal.

"If you get brushed aside like we did for that first goal, it's always an uphill battle - particularly against a Tony Pulis side with good resources for the division."

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis told BBC Tees:

"We were strong. Our two centre-halves, [Dael] Fry and [Aden] Flint, look a good pair. We were pretty dominant. They've still got to do certain things I'm not pleased about, but they gave us a solid base.

"The five in midfield again worked really, really hard. Stewart [Downing] was always a threat down the right-hand side and Martin [Braithwaite] really could have had another two.

"Our quality in the changeover of play has got to be better, because there were chances or opportunities to play people in and we missed those chances because we didn't see them or the pass wasn't very good."

Line-ups

Bristol City

  • 33Mäenpää
  • 32HuntSubstituted forDasilvaat 77'minutes
  • 4Webster
  • 17Kelly
  • 2Pisano
  • 8Brownhill
  • 21Pack
  • 7SmithSubstituted forTaylorat 69'minutesBooked at 84mins
  • 15Watkins
  • 20PatersonSubstituted forO'Dowdaat 77'minutes
  • 14Weimann

Substitutes

  • 3Dasilva
  • 10Taylor
  • 11O'Dowda
  • 12Walsh
  • 19Eliasson
  • 24O'Leary
  • 40Eisa

Middlesbrough

  • 23Randolph
  • 5Shotton
  • 24Flint
  • 20FryBooked at 28mins
  • 3FriendBooked at 50mins
  • 26Wing
  • 8Clayton
  • 16Howson
  • 19DowningSubstituted forMcNairat 90+3'minutes
  • 9AssombalongaSubstituted forFletcherat 89'minutes
  • 10BraithwaiteSubstituted forTavernierat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 4Ayala
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 17McNair
  • 18Fletcher
  • 21Johnson
  • 28Tavernier
Referee:
Oliver Langford
Attendance:
19,455

Match Stats

Home TeamBristol CityAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home67%
Away33%
Shots
Home18
Away13
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home9
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Bristol City 0, Middlesbrough 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Bristol City 0, Middlesbrough 2.

Attempt missed. Paddy McNair (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Ashley Fletcher.

Attempt saved. Andreas Weimann (Bristol City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Marley Watkins.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Paddy McNair replaces Stewart Downing.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Ashley Fletcher replaces Britt Assombalonga.

Attempt missed. Eros Pisano (Bristol City) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left following a set piece situation.

Josh Brownhill (Bristol City) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.

Eros Pisano (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough).

Attempt blocked. Andreas Weimann (Bristol City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Marley Watkins (Bristol City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Marcus Tavernier replaces Martin Braithwaite.

Attempt missed. Andreas Weimann (Bristol City) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box misses to the left following a corner.

Attempt saved. Andreas Weimann (Bristol City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Eros Pisano (Bristol City) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box.

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Aden Flint.

Booking

Matty Taylor (Bristol City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Matty Taylor (Bristol City).

George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Matty Taylor (Bristol City).

Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Marlon Pack (Bristol City).

Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. Josh Brownhill (Bristol City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jay Dasilva.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jonny Howson following a fast break.

Attempt blocked. Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Webster.

Foul by Marley Watkins (Bristol City).

Martin Braithwaite (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Bristol City. Callum O'Dowda replaces Jamie Paterson.

Substitution

Substitution, Bristol City. Jay Dasilva replaces Jack Hunt.

Offside, Middlesbrough. Lewis Wing tries a through ball, but Britt Assombalonga is caught offside.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Niki Mäenpää.

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

Lloyd Kelly (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough).

Foul by Matty Taylor (Bristol City).

Aden Flint (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Middlesbrough431082610
2Leeds33009279
3West Brom421113767
4Aston Villa32107437
5Bolton32105327
6Swansea32103127
7Nottm Forest41305416
8Sheff Utd420257-26
9Millwall31204315
10Blackburn31203215
11Brentford21106244
12Wigan31117704
13Preston31113304
14Derby310247-33
15Rotherham310227-53
16Ipswich302134-12
17Birmingham302123-12
18Stoke302146-22
19Bristol City302135-22
20Sheff Wed201134-11
21Norwich301268-21
22Hull301225-31
23Reading300314-30
24QPR3003210-80
View full Championship table

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