Championship: Middlesbrough beat Birmingham City 1-0 in comfortable victory

Championship: Middlesbrough beat Birmingham City 1-0 in comfortable victory

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Britt Assombalonga opened his account for the season with a first-half effort

Promotion favourites Middlesbrough continued their unbeaten start to the season with a comfortable win against Birmingham City, who had Craig Gardner sent off late on.

Britt Assombalonga’s first-half curler, bent beyond Connal Trueman from a pass by Jonny Howson, was the Teessiders’ only goal, despite numerous chances to add to the tally.

Assombalonga could have followed that up by claiming a hat-trick – but struck the post and was unable to convert Ryan Shotton’s dangerous throw – while winger Stuart Downing also hit the woodwork from a free-kick.

Chances were difficult to come by for the visitors, former Blues keeper Darren Randolph denying Che Adams and Lukas Jutkiewicz before Gardner’s dismissal for a late lunge on Howson ended their hopes of a fightback.

Defeat made for a difficult return to Teesside for former Boro boss Garry Monk, who lost his opening game in charge of Birmingham against his old employers and saw his side struggle to impose themselves at the Riverside.

Transfer window arrivals Omar Bogle and Connor Mahoney were given their debuts off the bench, although their late cameos were unable to turn the game around.

The past week has been a mixed one for Monk’s Middlesbrough counterpart Tony Pulis, with the departure of Adama Traore and Ben Gibson offset by the loan arrival of striker Jordan Hugill from West Ham United.

With that added competition in the ranks it was the perfect time for former Nottingham Forest striker Assombalonga to remind his manager of his talents, scoring his first goal of the season before making way late on for Ashley Fletcher.

Soccer News

via BBC Sport – Football https://ift.tt/OHg7x6

August 11, 2018 at 09:48AM

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