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Birmingham City 1-2 Middlesbrough: Britt Assombalonga gets Boro winner

Britt Assombalonga
Britt Assombalonga scored twice in Middlesbrough's 5-0 win over Peterborough in the FA Cup third round

Britt Assombalonga scored eight minutes before full-time to give Middlesbrough victory at Birmingham and strengthen Boro's position in the Championship play-off spots.

Boro led before half-time when Lewis Wing converted at the back post following good work on the right by Dael Fry.

Che Adams fired in Blues' equaliser but Boro's response was almost immediate, with substitute Assombalonga finishing well from Wing's pass.

Blues' first defeat in six league matches was only their second at home this season - and kept them four points adrift of the top six.

Middlesbrough, meanwhile, are fifth and only four points behind the top two.

Midfielder Wing impressed as a substitute in the 5-0 thrashing of Peterborough in the FA Cup seven days earlier and was rewarded with a start by boss Tony Pulis in place of on-loan Rajiv van La Parra.

And he followed his stunning long-range strike against the League One side with another goal and an assist at St Andrew's.

Before Wing's opener, Boro had looked like being frustrated in the first half when Blues full-back Kristian Pedersen made goal-line clearances to deny Jordan Hugill and Fry.

At 1-0, home centre-back Harlee Dean headed against the post and Adams' appeals for a penalty were met with only a yellow card for diving.

Adams combined with strike partner Lukas Jutkiewicz to equalise, only for Assombalonga to net Boro's winner from a counter-attack.

Birmingham manager Garry Monk: "It was the classic sucker punch. When you see the team sheet with four defenders and five midfielders you know they're going to be a difficult team to break down.

"I thought we were fantastic in the second half and the lads showed their character. We were the team in the ascendancy and using the ball a lot better.

"But then Middlesbrough scored almost straightaway and it was a simple situation we should have dealt with better. It was a harsh outcome for the players because I think they deserved something."

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis: "To come in just 1-0 up at half-time was a travesty. We should have been out of sight. We were by far the better team. I know we should have had two penalties so instead of being one up, we should have been three up at least.

"In the second half, they played very direct and we had to defend - and we did that ever so well.

"They've got a great goal and there were one or two other scares. But it was a great goal from Britt, too - he gets his chance and he finishes - and I think we deserved to win. Winning so well away from home shows the character of the team."

Line-ups

Birmingham

  • 1Camp
  • 5Colin
  • 28Morrison
  • 12Dean
  • 3Pedersen
  • 23Jota
  • 20GardnerSubstituted forGardnerat 45'minutes
  • 6KieftenbeldBooked at 29minsSubstituted forVassellat 80'minutes
  • 19Maghoma
  • 10Jutkiewicz
  • 9AdamsBooked at 55mins

Substitutes

  • 7Mahoney
  • 8Gardner
  • 11Vassell
  • 22Solomon-Otabor
  • 25Dacres-Cogley
  • 27Trueman
  • 45Harding

Middlesbrough

  • 23Randolph
  • 20Fry
  • 4Ayala
  • 6Batth
  • 3Friend
  • 8Clayton
  • 37BesicSubstituted forDowningat 69'minutes
  • 16Howson
  • 26WingBooked at 56minsSubstituted forMcNairat 87'minutes
  • 22Saville
  • 11HugillSubstituted forAssombalongaat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Assombalonga
  • 17McNair
  • 18Fletcher
  • 19Downing
  • 28Tavernier
  • 29van La Parra
  • 31Lonergan
Referee:
Graham Scott
Attendance:
21,420

Match Stats

Home TeamBirminghamAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home15
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home2
Away4
Fouls
Home11
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Birmingham City 1, Middlesbrough 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Birmingham City 1, Middlesbrough 2.

Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough).

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by George Saville.

Attempt blocked. Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is blocked. Assisted by Jacques Maghoma.

Attempt missed. Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Isaac Vassell.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Paddy McNair replaces Lewis Wing.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Michael Morrison.

Attempt blocked. Maxime Colin (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jacques Maghoma with a cross.

Goal!

Goal! Birmingham City 1, Middlesbrough 2. Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Lewis Wing with a through ball.

Attempt saved. George Saville (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jonny Howson with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Isaac Vassell replaces Maikel Kieftenbeld.

Goal!

Goal! Birmingham City 1, Middlesbrough 1. Che Adams (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Attempt blocked. Craig Gardner (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Maikel Kieftenbeld.

Attempt blocked. Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Craig Gardner.

Attempt saved. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Jota with a cross.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by George Friend.

Attempt blocked. Craig Gardner (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jota with a cross.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Kristian Pedersen.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Britt Assombalonga replaces Jordan Hugill.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Stewart Downing replaces Muhamed Besic.

Attempt saved. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jota.

Hand ball by George Saville (Middlesbrough).

Harlee Dean (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough).

Attempt saved. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Che Adams with a cross.

Foul by Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City).

Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Harlee Dean (Birmingham City) hits the left post with a header from the left side of the six yard box. Assisted by Jota with a cross following a set piece situation.

Che Adams (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Danny Batth (Middlesbrough).

Booking

Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough).

Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Booking

Che Adams (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card.

Che Adams (Birmingham City) has gone down, but that's a dive.

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

Foul by Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough).

Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds27166546281854
2Sheff Utd27155746281850
3Norwich27148549351450
4West Brom27138655352047
5Middlesbrough271210530191146
6Derby2712783834443
7Bristol City2711883429541
8Birmingham2791263930939
9Nottm Forest2791263931839
10Hull27116103933639
11QPR27116103335-239
12Aston Villa2791174943638
13Swansea27107103632437
14Blackburn2791083541-637
15Stoke2781183134-335
16Sheff Wed2788113245-1332
17Brentford27710103937231
18Preston2779113944-530
19Wigan2785142840-1229
20Millwall2777133343-1028
21Rotherham27510122542-1725
22Reading2758143041-1123
23Bolton2757151840-2222
24Ipswich2739152246-2418
View full Championship table

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