MX23RW : Friday, September 21 16:16:45
Aug 24, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Riverside Stadium (Middlesbrough)
Attendance: 22,906
Middlesbrough
1-0
West BromWest Bromwich Albion
Ayala (90')
Ayala (58'), Shotton (72'), Besic (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Adarabioyo (54'), Rodriguez (65')

Result: Late Daniel Ayala strike sends Middlesbrough clear at top of Championship

Daniel Ayala scores a 91st-minute winner as Middlesbrough beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium.

Middlesbrough have earned a late 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at the Riverside Stadium to climb to the top of the Championship table.

The Smoggies squandered some good opportunities in the first half, either side of Aden Flint hitting his own crossbar, but struggled to truly get going in the second prior to their winner in added time.

Daniel Ayala, brought back into the side tonight for the first time this season in the league, blasted the ball past Sam Johnstone to take the Smoggies above Leeds United and three points clear at the summit after playing a game more.

Middlesbrough's Britt Assombalonga in action with West Bromwich Albion's Jake Livermore on August 24, 2018© Reuters

A return to fitness for matchwinner Ayala allowed Tony Pulis to switch to a 3-5-2 formation of sorts against the side that sacked him nine months ago with the club one point above the Premier League relegation zone at the time.

An evenly-contested start to the match saw Jonny Howson's diving header skim the back of Britt Assombalonga and end wide of the target, shortly before a miscued Flint clearance came back off the frame of his own goal.

Creating chances from open play was proving far easier for the home side as the first half transpired, though, with Stewart Downing sending a shot down the middle for Johnstone to deal with and Howson then dragging wide after taking the ball past a couple of men.

Boro, winners in 12 of their last 14 Friday night fixtures, tightened their grip on proceedings in the final stages of the first half and created two more good opportunities.

Assombalonga failed to squeeze the ball in from close range following some slick play from Howson and Martin Braithwaite, and the latter blasted over an even better chance when the ball fell kindly to him seven yards out.

Middlesbrough midfielder Adam Clayton blocks an effort from West Bromwich Albion striker Dwight Gayle during their Championship clash on August 24, 2018© Reuters

The Smoggies, also denied a penalty for Kieran Gibbs's tug on Flint's top, initially looked even brighter after the restart as Ayala's flick tested Johnstone and wing-back Ryan Shotton headed over a half-empty net under pressure from Gibbs.

Albion's attempts up to the hour mark consisted of a weak Harvey Barnes effort from range and Dwight Gayle's skied finish after being slipped through by Matt Phillips.

Kyle Bartley was next to be denied a penalty after being dragged to the ground inside the box, while Jay Rodriguez's 35-yard shot was tipped around the post by Darren Randolph as the Baggies started to grow into the match.

A stalemate looked certain as both sides struggled to create much of anything in the final quarter of the match, but from nowhere Ayala struck a loose ball past Johnstone to win the match, although the centre-back appeared to use his arm to control it.

A second defeat of the season for West Brom, who are still without a clean sheet this term, leaves them just outside of the playoff zone.

MIDDLESBROUGH (3-5-2): Randolph; Flint, Fry, Ayala; Shotton, Clayton, Howson, Downing (Besic 73'), Friend; Braithwaite (McNair 86'), Assombalonga (Hugill 81')

WEST BROMWICH ALBION (3-5-2): Johnstone; Adarabioyo (Dawson 69'), Hegazi, Bartley; Gibbs, Livermore, Brunt, Barnes (Morrison 69'), Phillips; Gayle (Robson-Kanu 83'), Rodriguez

Share this article now:
Matt Phillips celebrates grabbing the equaliser during the Championship game between Nottingham Forest and West Bromwich Albion on August 7, 2018
Read Next:
Championship roundup: WBA put seven past QPR
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds85301851318
2Middlesbrough8521113817
3Brentford8431157815
4West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom84222012814
5Bristol City84221410414
6Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd8413129313
7Aston Villa83411412213
8Wigan AthleticWigan84131311213
9Derby CountyDerby8413109113
10Swansea CitySwansea833276112
11Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest8251109111
12Norwich CityNorwich83231213-111
13Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds83231213-111
14Blackburn RoversBlackburn825189-111
15Bolton WanderersBolton8323912-311
16Queens Park RangersQPR8314714-710
17Stoke CityStoke82331013-39
18Rotherham UnitedRotherham8305613-79
19Hull City8215913-47
20Birmingham CityBirmingham806257-26
21Millwall8134711-46
22Reading8125913-45
23Preston North EndPreston8125715-85
24Ipswich TownIpswich8044612-64

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account