MX23RW : Sunday, November 18 06:38:06
Aug 24, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Riverside Stadium (Middlesbrough)
Attendance: 22,906
Middlesbrough
1-0
West BromWest Bromwich Albion
FT

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
Nations League
International Friendlies
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish Challenge Cup
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Welsh Premier League
NIFL Premiership
Brasileiro
Argentine Primera Division
Segunda Division
Eerste Divisie
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich1710342820833
2Middlesbrough178721981131
3Leeds UnitedLeeds1786329171230
4Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd179352719830
5West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1784537251228
6Derby CountyDerby178452520528
7Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest176922316727
8Swansea CitySwansea177551913626
9Blackburn RoversBlackburn176832021-126
10Queens Park RangersQPR178271822-426
11Aston Villa176652723424
12Birmingham CityBirmingham175932320324
13Bristol City176472019122
14Stoke CityStoke175751920-122
15Brentford175662723421
16Wigan AthleticWigan176291926-720
17Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds175572130-920
18Preston North EndPreston174672630-418
19Rotherham UnitedRotherham174671423-918
20Reading174492429-516
21Millwall174492229-716
22Hull City174491624-816
23Bolton WanderersBolton174491123-1216
24Ipswich TownIpswich171881428-1411

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!

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