Championship
MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough0BirminghamBirmingham City1

Middlesbrough 0-1 Birmingham City: Scott Hogan gives Blues victory

Scott Hogan scores against Middlesbrough
Scott Hogan's goal - Birmingham's first in four league games - was enough to secure victory

Birmingham City won for the first time in seven Championship matches to dent Middlesbrough's play-off ambitions.

Scott Hogan's first-half goal was enough to secure all three points at the Riverside Stadium, with the striker finishing off a slick team move by tapping in Maxime Colin's low cross.

Boro almost equalised before half-time when Sam Morsy's header bounced down off the crossbar and on to the goalline before Blues keeper Neil Etheridge smothered the ball.

Duncan Watmore had the best chance to level the game in an improved second-half showing by the hosts, but saw his close-range half-volley saved by Etheridge.

Victory on Teesside lifted Aitor Karanka's side seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Returning Karanka frustrates former club

Former Real Madrid defender Karanka spent more than three years in charge of Boro - leading the club to promotion to the Premier League in 2015-16 - and denied his former employers the chance to move into the top six.

Birmingham were rewarded for their positive start when Hogan rounded off a move which included a brilliant backheel by winger Ivan Sanchez to set an overlapping Colin free inside the box.

The Teessiders may complain that the Spanish winger should have not been on the field, as Sanchez had appeared to kick out at Paddy McNair in an off-the-ball clash with the Boro centre-back.

After the visitors survived a scare from Morsy's header, which also missed the outstretched arm of Birmingham midfielder Jon Toral on the line, Etheridge was called into action at the end of the first half to tip over a free-kick from Marcus Tavernier, while Chuba Akpom saw a header deflected over the Blues bar.

Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock made a triple substitution at the break, and the changes almost had an instant impact as Britt Assombalonga side-footed wide in the first minute of the second half.

Boro had won their past four at the Riverside and continued to press in the second half, but the Birmingham defence held firm to inflict just their second home defeat of the Championship campaign.

The Blues, meanwhile, have now picked up 18 of their 26 points this season away from St Andrew's.

Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock told BBC Tees:

"We knew it would be physical and we didn't compete. We got bullied.

"They should have had a sending off, which would have changed everything. The lad lashed out and not one of the four officials could see it.

"Then the guy who should have been off [Sanchez] makes the goal and it's a double whammy.

"I don't think we would have scored if we had been playing until Sunday. We were better second half but the first half was as bad as I've seen."

Birmingham boss Aitor Karanka:

"I am very pleased with this performance. I hope this is a real sign of the future.

"We played well today for 45 minutes and then had to defend. We knew we had to defend really well against a good team, and we did.

"It's a nice feeling to have because the biggest challenge here has been changing the atmosphere.

"I thought I'd fixed it earlier in the season but it's been the same situation. It will be really important for sure."

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Bettinelli
  • 2DijksteelBooked at 82mins
  • 6Fry
  • 17McNair
  • 27Bola
  • 8WingSubstituted forSpenceat 45'minutes
  • 5MorsySubstituted forHowsonat 45'minutes
  • 22Saville
  • 7TavernierSubstituted forCoulsonat 76'minutes
  • 10AkpomSubstituted forAssombalongaat 45'minutes
  • 3JohnsonSubstituted forWatmoreat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Assombalonga
  • 15Wood
  • 16Howson
  • 18Watmore
  • 19Roberts
  • 26Archer
  • 29Spence
  • 33Coulson
  • 34Hackney

Birmingham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 30Etheridge
  • 2Colin
  • 19San José
  • 12Dean
  • 5Friend
  • 6Kieftenbeld
  • 34SunjicBooked at 71mins
  • 17Sánchez
  • 23ToralBooked at 15minsSubstituted forRobertsat 62'minutes
  • 11BelaSubstituted forClaytonat 90'minutes
  • 9HoganSubstituted forJutkiewiczat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Prieto
  • 3Pedersen
  • 4Roberts
  • 8Clayton
  • 10Jutkiewicz
  • 14Leko
  • 15Clarke-Salter
  • 25Dacres-Cogley
  • 35Halilovic
Referee:
Darren England

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamBirmingham
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home8
Away6
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home12
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Middlesbrough 0, Birmingham City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 0, Birmingham City 1.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Birmingham City. Adam Clayton replaces Jérémie Bela.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jérémie Bela (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lukas Jutkiewicz.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Mikel San José.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Marc Roberts (Birmingham City).

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jérémie Bela with a cross following a corner.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Jonny Howson.

  10. Booking

    Anfernee Dijksteel (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Jérémie Bela (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Anfernee Dijksteel (Middlesbrough).

  13. Post update

    Foul by Maxime Colin (Birmingham City).

  14. Post update

    Hayden Coulson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Dael Fry (Middlesbrough).

  17. Post update

    Offside, Birmingham City. George Friend tries a through ball, but Lukas Jutkiewicz is caught offside.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City).

  19. Post update

    Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Hayden Coulson replaces Marcus Tavernier.

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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich24155433211250
2Swansea24137429131646
3Bournemouth24119438201842
4Brentford22118336211541
5Watford23117527171040
6Reading2312473428640
7Middlesbrough2310672819936
8Stoke249962723436
9Bristol City2311392524136
10Barnsley24104102731-434
11Blackburn2496939281133
12Luton249692126-533
13Preston24102123033-332
14Huddersfield2494112834-631
15Cardiff2385103027329
16Millwall2351172024-426
17Coventry236892231-926
18Birmingham2468101829-1126
19Nottm Forest2467111927-825
20QPR235992230-824
21Sheff Wed2367101523-819
22Rotherham2154122029-919
23Derby2347121425-1119
24Wycombe2336141635-1915
View full Championship table

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