Championship
Middlesbrough0Swansea0

Middlesbrough 0-0 Swansea City

Middlesbrough goalkeeper Darren Randolph reacts to keep out Swans defender Martin Olsson's first-half header
Middlesbrough goalkeeper Darren Randolph reacts to keep out Swans defender Martin Olsson's first-half header

Middlesbrough remained second in the Championship but moved level on points with leaders Leeds United after being held at home by Swansea City.

An injury-hit Swans will be the happier to have come away from the Riverside Stadium with a share of the spoils after their midweek loss at Stoke City.

Oli McBurnie and Martin Olsson went closest for the visitors, while a Tom Carroll cross hit the woodwork.

Boro's best chances fell to Daniel Ayala and Stewart Downing.

Swansea recalled top scorer McBurnie to their starting line-up from the trip to Stoke, with midfield pair Jay Fulton and Carroll fit enough to be named on the bench.

But the visitors were still looking threadbare in the middle of the park with captain Leroy Fer (groin) and Bersant Celina (ankle) sidelined, while Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony has not featured this season because of a hamstring problem.

Middlesbrough, in contrast, had a far more settled look with manager Tony Pulis going with the majority of the side that had beaten Bolton Wanderers.

Tactical sparring

Swansea took early charge of the game and the visitors had chances to score through McBurnie and Olsson in the first quarter.

But Pulis reacted quickly, the Welshman abandoning his starting formation to change to three at the back with wing-backs.

Opposite number Graham Potter gave it 10 minutes and responded in kind, using Wayne Routledge's pace further forward in the middle of the park to support McBurnie while Olsson was seemingly operating more as a left winger than a full-back.

The half-time result? It remained an honourable stalemate.

Chances at a premium

Stewart Downing came closest to breaking the deadlock for Boro when the ex-England winger tried his luck from distance, but Swans keeper Erwin Mulder got his positioning just right to get everything behind the ball.

Muhamed Besic also had a long-range chance when a corner was cleared to him, but the Bosnian could not keep his shot down.

Swansea had their opportunities as well, but came closest when Carroll was released down the left by McBurnie and sent in a deep cross that veered towards goal before pinging off the top of the crossbar.

As the game entered its final throes, the younger legs of Daniel James replaced Routledge as Potter freshened his side, while for Boro Jordan Hugill took the place of Britt Assombalonga in attack.

Ayala's header drew a good late save from Mulder, while Martin Braithwaite was inches from connecting with Jonny Howson's low cross, as Swansea held out to become the first side to take points at the Riverside this season.

But Boro may rue missing the chance to go top after Leeds suffered a surprise defeat at home to Birmingham City.

Swansea manager Graham Potter told BBC Radio Wales:

"It's pleasing to get a point but I think we can still play better, but at the same time you have to understand they're quality opposition and the environment here is not easy to play against.

"But this experience will help us improve and overall the spirit, the defensive understanding [was good]. We kept our shape well and tactically there was an idea.

"In terms of fighting for each other and covering each other's mistakes and sticking at it, it was a fantastic performance."

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis:

"I was last in the Championship working 11 years ago, you look at it now and there are more quality players, playing in better stadiums.

"The pitches are better, the quality is better, and there are better players who are playing international football.

"And yet we are asked to play eight more games than the Premier League, there's more Premier League players playing international football, someone has to look at it, to ask players to play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday."

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

  • 23Randolph
  • 5Shotton
  • 4Ayala
  • 24Flint
  • 3Friend
  • 16Howson
  • 8ClaytonBooked at 71mins
  • 22SavilleBooked at 30minsSubstituted forBesicat 59'minutes
  • 19DowningSubstituted forMcQueenat 73'minutes
  • 9AssombalongaSubstituted forHugillat 69'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 10Braithwaite

Substitutes

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 6Batth
  • 11Hugill
  • 14McQueen
  • 17McNair
  • 20Fry
  • 37Besic

Swansea

  • 25Mulder
  • 23Roberts
  • 5van der Hoorn
  • 22Rodon
  • 3Olsson
  • 26Naughton
  • 21Grimes
  • 19McKaySubstituted forDyerat 78'minutes
  • 28ByersSubstituted forCarrollat 45'minutes
  • 15RoutledgeSubstituted forJamesat 61'minutes
  • 9McBurnie

Substitutes

  • 1Nordfeldt
  • 12Dyer
  • 14Carroll
  • 17Carter-Vickers
  • 20James
  • 27Fulton
  • 30Dhanda
Referee:
Simon Hooper
Attendance:
22,881

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamSwansea
Possession
Home42%
Away58%
Shots
Home16
Away5
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home10
Away3
Fouls
Home13
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Middlesbrough 0, Swansea City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 0, Swansea City 0.

Booking

Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Joe Rodon (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough).

Foul by Nathan Dyer (Swansea City).

Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Kyle Naughton (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Martin Braithwaite (Middlesbrough).

Foul by Nathan Dyer (Swansea City).

Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Sam McQueen (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jonny Howson.

Attempt blocked. Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Shotton.

Attempt blocked. Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Mike van der Hoorn (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough).

Attempt blocked. Martin Olsson (Swansea City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Carroll.

Foul by Nathan Dyer (Swansea City).

Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Middlesbrough. Muhamed Besic tries a through ball, but Jordan Hugill is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Aden Flint (Middlesbrough) header from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Sam McQueen with a cross.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Joe Rodon.

Substitution

Substitution, Swansea City. Nathan Dyer replaces Barrie McKay.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by George Friend.

Offside, Middlesbrough. Jordan Hugill tries a through ball, but Martin Braithwaite is caught offside.

Matt Grimes (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Martin Braithwaite (Middlesbrough).

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Sam McQueen replaces Stewart Downing.

Attempt missed. Tom Carroll (Swansea City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Kyle Naughton.

Booking

Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Oliver McBurnie (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).

Foul by Martin Olsson (Swansea City).

Ryan Shotton (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Jordan Hugill replaces Britt Assombalonga.

Attempt missed. Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Joe Rodon.

Martin Olsson (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough).

Martin Olsson (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds95311971218
2Middlesbrough9531113818
3West Brom952222121017
4Sheff Utd95131511416
5Wigan95131411316
6Derby95131310316
7Brentford94321610615
8Bristol City94231411314
9Nottm Forest9351119214
10Sheff Wed94231414014
11Norwich94231313014
12Blackburn93511111014
13Aston Villa93421514113
14Swansea934276113
15Bolton9333912-312
16QPR9315715-810
17Birmingham916278-19
18Stoke92341216-49
19Rotherham9306614-89
20Reading92251213-18
21Hull9216916-77
22Millwall9135713-66
23Ipswich9054612-65
24Preston9126918-95
View full Championship table

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