Championship
Blackburn0Middlesbrough1

Blackburn 0-1 Middlesbrough: Assombalonga strikes as Boro beat 10-man hosts

Derrick Williams of Blackburn is sent off
Derrick Williams' red card was his second of the season

Middlesbrough climbed to fifth in the Championship table as Britt Assombalonga's first-half goal proved enough to see off 10-man Blackburn.

Boro's top scorer headed the winner on 19 minutes before Rovers lost Derrick Williams to a straight red card just before half-time.

It condemned Blackburn to a fourth successive defeat while Boro claimed a first win in three league games to leapfrog Bristol City and climb one place.

Assombalonga's 12th goal of the season gave Middlesbrough just their third victory in the last 18 league meetings between the clubs.

Boro tested David Raya early with a header by Ashley Fletcher from a Lewis Wing cross, but Raya was beaten for the opening goal inside 20 minutes.

Charlie Mulgrew misjudged a high ball, allowing Fletcher to dart behind him and cross for Assombalonga to score with a far-post header.

Williams was dismissed in the final minute of the first half when he brought down Fletcher on the edge of the Blackburn penalty area and was deemed by referee Darren Bond to have denied a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Early in the second half Wing drove forwards from midfield and rattled the crossbar with a dipping, long-range shot before Amari'i Bell, one of Blackburn's three half-time substitutes, struck the crossbar with 14 minutes remaining.

It is the first time Blackburn have lost four consecutive games since 2016 and the first time under current manager and Boro legend Tony Mowbray, but the run has left them 10 points outside the play-off places.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis is now unbeaten in his last nine league meetings with Blackburn and his side are seven points behind the top two with a game in hand.

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray:

"I couldn't recognise my team first half. I've been here two years next week and I don't know where that came from to be honest.

"I said to them at half-time that it's an unrecognisable football team from the one I see week in, week out.

"Today we lacked fire, desire and energy.

"Win, lose or draw, we have more fight and desire and quality than we showed in the first half. Second half was better."

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis told BBC Tees:

"I'm pleased. I don't want to take the gloss off it because I thought we were very good today, but to get 27 shots on goal and just score one goal is something I've kept harping on about since I joined the football club.

"We've got to be more clinical in front of goal. We had really good opportunities to get the second one, and if you get the second one it's game over and you can relax a little bit.

"What we've got to do is replicate the intensity we showed against Leeds for home games for the rest of the season and that gives us a chance."

Line-ups

Blackburn

  • 1Raya
  • 31Bennett
  • 5RodwellBooked at 33minsSubstituted forNyambeat 45'minutes
  • 14Mulgrew
  • 3WilliamsBooked at 45mins
  • 29EvansSubstituted forTravisat 45'minutes
  • 4Reed
  • 19BreretonSubstituted forBellat 45'minutes
  • 23Dack
  • 7Armstrong
  • 10Graham

Substitutes

  • 2Nyambe
  • 6Smallwood
  • 13Leutwiler
  • 17Bell
  • 24Nuttall
  • 27Travis
  • 32Conway

Middlesbrough

  • 23Randolph
  • 20Fry
  • 5Shotton
  • 3FriendSubstituted forMcNairat 61'minutes
  • 16Howson
  • 2Mikel
  • 37BesicSubstituted forDowningat 73'minutes
  • 22Saville
  • 26Wing
  • 18FletcherSubstituted forHugillat 81'minutes
  • 9Assombalonga

Substitutes

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 8Clayton
  • 11Hugill
  • 17McNair
  • 19Downing
  • 28Tavernier
  • 29van La Parra
Referee:
Darren Bond
Attendance:
13,249

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackburnAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home5
Away26
Shots on Target
Home1
Away7
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 0, Middlesbrough 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 0, Middlesbrough 1.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Lewis Wing.

Attempt missed. Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by David Raya Martin.

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

Attempt missed. Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by John Obi Mikel.

Attempt blocked. Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Danny Graham with a headed pass.

Foul by Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough).

Amari'i Bell (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Jordan Hugill replaces Ashley Fletcher.

Offside, Middlesbrough. Ryan Shotton tries a through ball, but Ashley Fletcher is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lewis Wing.

Attempt missed. Danny Graham (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Bradley Dack.

Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by John Obi Mikel (Middlesbrough).

Attempt missed. Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Britt Assombalonga.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Stewart Downing replaces Muhamed Besic.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Ryan Nyambe.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by David Raya Martin.

Attempt missed. Danny Graham (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Adam Armstrong.

Attempt missed. Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt missed. George Saville (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jonny Howson with a cross.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by John Obi Mikel.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Ryan Nyambe.

Attempt blocked. George Saville (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lewis Wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Paddy McNair replaces George Friend because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Charlie Mulgrew with a cross following a set piece situation.

Elliott Bennett (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by George Saville (Middlesbrough).

Foul by Harrison Reed (Blackburn Rovers).

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

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match George Friend (Middlesbrough) because of an injury.

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

Lewis Travis (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich33189665422363
2Sheff Utd33187858342461
3Leeds32187753361761
4West Brom32169764402457
5Middlesbrough321412636241254
6Bristol City31158840301053
7Derby3114984336751
8Nottm Forest33111484638847
9Birmingham32111384940946
10Aston Villa33101495652444
11Preston331111115047344
12Hull32128124542344
13Swansea32128124239344
14Blackburn331110124350-743
15Sheff Wed321011113647-1141
16Brentford311010115043740
17Stoke33913113441-740
18QPR31116143947-839
19Wigan3297163246-1434
20Millwall31710143445-1131
21Reading33611163449-1529
22Rotherham33514143353-2029
23Bolton3368192151-3026
24Ipswich33311192556-3120
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