FOOTBALL

Middlesbrough vs Bournemouth: Post-match analysis

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This week’s fixture ended with yet another disappointing defeat for Bournemouth at the hands of Middlesbrough. The home side came out 1-0 winners as Andraž Šporar’s 53rd-minute penalty was enough to seal the result.

Andraž Šporar converted a penalty which was the only goal of the game. Jaidon Anthony brought down Isaiah Jones just inside the penalty area. The Slovakian placed the ball in the bottom corner to get his 4th goal of the season.

Bournemouth has now failed to win any of their last six games in the Championship. Yet they still somehow occupy the 2nd place on the table, but it won’t be for long by the looks of it.

West Bromwich Albion squandered their chance to go above Bournemouth as they drew to relegation side Barnsley. But Blackburn Rovers have closed the gap between them and Bournemouth to just 1 point.

This game has opened up the race for direct promotion. The top 4 sides are separated by just 4 points.

Middlesbrough appears to have started to put together a charge for the knock-off places. They are currently just 2 points off the 6th place Stoke City.

Chris Wilder’s team certainly has the means to compete for a top-6 finish.

Andraž Šporar’s penalty goal enough for Middlesbrough to seal the win over Bournemouth

The home side got off to a very good start. Duncan Watmore forced a corner in the very first minute as his blocked shot went behind the goal.

Just six minutes into the game, Matt Crooks tested the Bournemouth goalkeeper with a low shot after a beautiful passage of play down the right-hand side. Bournemouth keeper Travers was equal to it.

Bournemouth was guilty of missing some decent chances. Howson’s misplaced pass put Jaidon Anthony through on goal but he put his left-footed effort wide off the post.

The away side piled on the pressure in the first half. Bournemouth top-scorer Solanke met Christie’s cross from the right-hand side, as his header failed to hit the target.

Bournemouth put up a really good chance to open the scoring at the first-time stoppage time. Billing’s low cross from the left-hand side bounced just before Christie made contact with the ball. Christie failed to direct the shot on goal.

The first half ended square, Middlesbrough came back into the game in the second half. Just 8 minutes into the second half, Isaiah Jones was brought down by Jaidon Anthony with a challenge from behind the player.

Andraž Šporar stepped up and slotted the penalty out of the reach of Travers, scoring the only goal of the game.

Later in the second half, Šporar saw his first-time shot tipped over the bar by the Bournemouth shot-stopper.

Middlesbrough managed the game well and even created some good situations for themselves on the break after the first goal, but failed to double their lead.

Manager’s thoughts

Chris Wilder (via BBC Radio Tees)

We’ve got some big players and they should expect to play well against a really good side.

I thought the press was really good, I thought the shape out of possession was really good, we stepped into pockets, the lines were good between the three departments of the team – there wasn’t a lot of space for them to play.

The key now is to back that (win) up and keep backing it up.

I’m delighted for Andraz. He showed great composure and bottle to stick that away. He’s a good player. I want good players at the club, and want to bring good players into the club in January, and we want to keep it rolling forward.

Scott Parker (via BBC Radio Tees)

Second half we were poor, second half we didn’t deserve anything from the game.

First half, I thought, was very good, we nullified them really and we had three massive chances. On another day those chances go in and then obviously the game’s a bit different.

But the second half was not acceptable. We never gave ourselves a chance and then they score, which gives them impetus and a platform.

The longer the game goes on, you see a bit more of a desperate team – an honest team, of course – but the level of what we were, to where we are currently, is a little bit off. We’re going through a bit of a blip and we need to turn that around quickly.

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