Championship
Sheff Wed1Middlesbrough2

Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Middlesbrough: Boro win at Hillsborough to go top of Championship

After breaking his duck in the win at Ipswich, on-loan Mo Besic has now scored for Boro in successive away games
After breaking his duck in the win at Ipswich, on-loan Mo Besic has now scored for Boro in successive away games

Mo Besic and Britt Assombalonga got the goals as Middlesbrough hung on to beat Sheffield Wednesday and return to the top of the Championship.

After a poor first half, Boro hit the Owls with two goals in six early second-half minutes - one beautifully worked, the second self-inflicted and both involving on-loan Everton midfielder Besic.

First, on 49 minutes, Stewart Downing's cute backheel down the right side freed Jonny Howson and, from his pull-back, Besic took on Tom Lees, twisted and turned to create an angle, then slid home a low, angled right-foot shot from 12 yards.

Then, on 55 minutes, Lees panicked under pressure and passed straight to Besic who powered forward before squaring to his right as keeper Cameron Dawson came out and Assombalonga kept his cool to score his fifth goal of the season.

Former Boro man Adam Reach, who had clipped the bar in the first half with a header from Barry Bannan's cross, gave his side hope with an 82nd-minute volley from 20 yards.

And the visitors had to survive an almighty last-minute scramble on the line in an incident that could have gone either way as bodies piled up like a rugby ruck.

But Tony Pulis was the manager who came up smiling as his side edged above morning leaders Sheffield United on goal difference heading into Saturday's fixtures.

Wednesday, who were without Italian playmaker Fernando Forestieri, did create the better first-half chances, with Reach also seeing an angled right-foot shot tipped wide by Darren Randolph.

And, late on, they also had a header by substitute Atdhe Nuhiu blocked on the line, prior to that frantic scramble.

The Owls might also claim the outcome would have been different had Daniel Ayala been sent off just after Boro had gone 1-0 up, when he appeared to elbow Steven Fletcher in the face.

But, equally, on a night when Wednesday surrendered their unbeaten home record, Besic had chances to win it by more for Boro.

On another rapid counter-attack, he opted to go for goal rather than again square to the better placed Assombalonga, and he was again denied when a curling shot deflected wide off Nuhiu.

Boro have now not lost in 68 Championship matches when they have held a lead - a run going back to March 2015 against Nottingham Forest.

Owls boss Jos Luhukay told BBC Radio Sheffield:

"You are playing against one of the best teams in the league. Physically, they are unbelievably strong defending.

"They do not give a lot of chances. In the first half, we had the best chances to go in front.

"But, in the second half, we gifted two goals to them. We got back to 2-1 but it was too late."

Boro boss Tony Pulis told BBC Tees:

"The game should have been out of sight. You're controlling the game and, from nothing, they've suddenly got a goal from nowhere and they sniff a chance.

"In the end, that one stayed on the line. I don't mind how we kept it out as long as it didn't cross the line but we should have never been in that position. We have to see games out better.

"Now we've just got to stay level, keep calm and remain competitive. We've won a game of football, that's all. People get too carried away when you win and too carried away when you lose."

Line-ups

Sheff Wed

  • 25Dawson
  • 2Palmer
  • 15Lees
  • 12Thorniley
  • 42Penney
  • 34Hector
  • 8Pelupessy
  • 10BannanBooked at 74mins
  • 20Reach
  • 9Fletcher
  • 18Lucas JoãoSubstituted forNuhiuat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Fox
  • 7Onomah
  • 17Nuhiu
  • 28Wildsmith
  • 31Kirby
  • 36Pudil
  • 37Preston

Middlesbrough

  • 23Randolph
  • 4AyalaBooked at 81mins
  • 24Flint
  • 20Fry
  • 5Shotton
  • 16Howson
  • 8ClaytonBooked at 59mins
  • 37BesicSubstituted forBatthat 90+2'minutes
  • 3FriendBooked at 88mins
  • 19DowningSubstituted forSavilleat 85'minutes
  • 9AssombalongaSubstituted forHugillat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Batth
  • 11Hugill
  • 14McQueen
  • 17McNair
  • 22Saville
  • 31Lonergan
  • 39Gestede
Referee:
Peter Bankes
Attendance:
23,284

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff WedAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home14
Away15
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home3
Away8
Fouls
Home14
Away19

Live Text

Match ends, Sheffield Wednesday 1, Middlesbrough 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Sheffield Wednesday 1, Middlesbrough 2.

Foul by Atdhe Nuhiu (Sheffield Wednesday).

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

Attempt blocked. Tom Lees (Sheffield Wednesday) left footed shot from very close range is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Tom Lees (Sheffield Wednesday) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Barry Bannan with a cross.

Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. Conceded by Danny Batth.

Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday).

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Danny Batth replaces Muhamed Besic.

Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. Conceded by Ryan Shotton.

Attempt missed. Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

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

Foul by Atdhe Nuhiu (Sheffield Wednesday).

George Saville (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Matt Penney (Sheffield Wednesday).

Booking

George Friend (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

Joey Pelupessy (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

George Saville (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joey Pelupessy (Sheffield Wednesday).

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. George Saville replaces Stewart Downing.

Attempt missed. Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Barry Bannan.

Goal!

Goal! Sheffield Wednesday 1, Middlesbrough 2. Adam Reach (Sheffield Wednesday) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner following a set piece situation.

Booking

Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

Atdhe Nuhiu (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Jordan Hugill replaces Britt Assombalonga.

Foul by Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough).

Joey Pelupessy (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Shotton.

Attempt missed. Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jonny Howson following a corner.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Barry Bannan.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Atdhe Nuhiu.

Attempt blocked. Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Stewart Downing.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Matt Penney.

Booking

Barry Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday) is shown the yellow card.

Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Michael Hector (Sheffield Wednesday).

Offside, Middlesbrough. Jonny Howson tries a through ball, but Britt Assombalonga is caught offside.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Middlesbrough13742167925
2Sheff Utd128132113825
3West Brom1273231171424
4Leeds126512291323
5Nottm Forest124711713419
6Sheff Wed135442020019
7Brentford124622014618
8Derby125341513218
9Norwich125341515018
10Blackburn124621415-118
11Swansea12453129317
12Wigan125251416-217
13Bristol City124441614216
14Stoke124441718-116
15Aston Villa123632020015
16Bolton124351015-515
17Birmingham122821312114
18QPR12426919-1014
19Rotherham12327919-1011
20Millwall122461319-610
21Reading122371520-59
22Preston122371824-69
23Ipswich121651118-79
24Hull122281019-98
View full Championship table

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