Middlesbrough 1 v 0 Burnley (Sky Bet Championship)
Burnley arrived at the Riverside Stadium looking for their first win in five games, manager Sean Dyche has changed the formation to a 4-5-1 with Sam Vokes the only change for Dean Marney.
The Clarets squad included two changes for the game, with Sam Vokes dropping to the bench for Dean Marney. Development squad goalkeeper Conor Mitchell replaced Matt Gilks on the subs bench.
In a fairly even first half, it was Middlesbrough who had the first attempt at goal on seven minutes, when Stuart Downing found Adam Forshaw who hit a right foot shot from outside the box which was blocked by Mee.
The next real effort came on twenty-one minutes and again fell to Adam Forshaw, but his left footed shot from outside the area went high over Tom Heaton’s crossbar.
Burnley then had three shots at the Middlesbrough goal in the space of one minute, the effort on twenty-eight minutes fell to David Jones, but his left footed shot from outside the box was blocked by the defence following a Tendayi Darikwa cross.
The second effort from Scott Arfield was a right footed shot from the centre of the box which was again blocked by the Middlebrough defence, following a Ben Mee cross.
The third effort fell to Tendayi Darikwa but his right footed shot from outside the box was blocked by the Middlebrough defence.
The best chance of the half fell to George Boyd on thirty-six minutes, but his left-footed shot went just wide of Kinstantopoulos left-hand post, to make the half-time score 0-0.
Middlesbrough started the second half stronger and had their first attempt at goal after just six minutes, when an Adam Forshaw header went just wide of Heaton’s post, following a Nsue with a cross.
Three minutes later, Middlesbrough took the lead as Nsue fired a right footed shot from the centre of the box into the bottom right corner of Tom Heaton’s goal, following an excellent cross from Adam Forshaw.
On the hour, Scott Arfield had a right footed shot from the centre of the Middlesbrough area, but his effort was well saved by the Boro goalkeeper Konstantopoulos.
Middlesbrough then had two great chances to extend their lead, but both efforts fell to Adam Clayton the first shot went high and wide of Tom Heaton’s goal. The second effort was blocked by Burnley defender Michael Keane.
In the eighty-seventh minutes, Middlesbrough should have scored a second goal when Konstantopoulos found Cristhian Stuani, but his right footed shot from a difficult angle went just wide of Tom Heaton’s goal, to leave the final score 1-0.
Speaking after the game Burnley manager Sean Dyche said, “It was a very tough and tight game against a very good side which is clear from their home form this season, I think they’ve only conceded two goals at the Riverside.
They are a side that have been building for two and a half years, they nearly made it last year and they are looking to go one better this year.
We knew we were in for a tough game and we looked to change the game plan and it pretty much worked first half, but we didn’t have the cutting edge or guile in the top third.
We had a couple of breakaway chances as the game wore on, but we just couldn’t find the killer moment. We’ve won nine out of twelve before this, so we know how to win games, it has deserted us for the moment.
Middlesbrough -Konstantopoulos, Kike, Fabbrini, Friend, Downing, Kalas, Ayala, Forshaw, Gibson, Nsue, Clayton (Subs) Mejias, Leadbitter, Stuani, De Pena, Amorebieta, Adomah, Zuculini
Burnley – Heaton, Darikwa, Mee, Keane, Duff, Jones, Marney, Barton, Boyd, Arfield, Gray (Subs) Mitchell, Lowton, Vokes, Kightly, Taylor, Hennings, Ward
Goals – (Middlesbrough) Nsue (54)
Attendance – 19,966