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Single goal enough for Boro

Middlesbrough
1 - 0
Blackburn

Riverside

Wed 26th Dec 3pm

Attendance: 22,882

Referee:

Middlesbrough moved back into third place in the table after striker Lukas Jutkiewicz grabbed the only goal of the game against Blackburn Rovers at the Riverside.

Match-winner Jutkiewicz struck with a firm, low finish when being set-up by forward partner Scott McDonald midway through the second-half.

But the hosts had earlier almost conceded inside the first-minute of the contest as Colin Kazim-Richards helped a cross from the right against an upright. Martin Olsson also drilled wide for the visitors, with Emmanuel Ledesma despatching a free-kick straight at goalkeeper Jake Kean in reply and then hoisting from the edge of the area.

Attacking full-back George Friend was next off-target on the end of a fine individual break and Scott McDonald similarly missed from the outside the box, while Jonathan Woodgate charged down from Kazim-Richards and home keeper Jason Steele denied Grant Hanley.

His opposite number Kean then collected a 20-yard drive from Ledesma before the hosts had another escape when a cross struck defender Andre Bikey and rebounded onto a post before dropping into the arms of Steele. Jutkiewicz also failed to find the finish from Ledesma's delivery as Kean saved again just before the interval.

There was a significant substitution from the home side at the start of the second-half with skipper Rhys Williams replacing Bikey.

However, he witnessed Kazim-Richards again the danger when calling Steele into further action until Jutkiewicz exchanged passes with McDonald and drilled home from around fifteen-yards.

Goal-provider McDonald then twice went close to adding to it, while Steele kept out substitute Ruben Rochina after his initial free-kick from the edge of the area struck the defensive wall.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Bikey (R. Williams 46), Woodgate, Friend, Leadbitter, McEachran (Smallwood 56), Ledesma, Emnes (Bailey 72), Jutkiewicz, McDonald

subs (unused): Leutwiler, Thomson, Halliday, Miller

Goals: Jutkiewicz (67)

Blackburn Rovers: Kean, Mn Olsson, Dann, Henley, G. Hanley, Lowe, Murphy, Rosado (Dunn 79), Rhodes, King, Kazim-Richards (Rochina 83)

subs (unused): Usai, Givet, Pedersen, Etuhu, Vukcevic

Ref: Atkinson

Att: 22,882

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Writer:Vital Boro
Date:Wednesday December 26 2012
Time: 7:39PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Chelsea 14 11 1 2 34 21
2 Arsenal 14 9 4 1 31 19
3 Liverpool 14 9 3 2 30 17
4 Man City 14 9 3 2 30 15
5 Spurs 14 7 6 1 27 14
6 Man Utd 14 5 6 3 21 3
7 WBA 14 5 5 4 20 3
8 Everton 14 5 5 4 20 1
9 Stoke 14 5 4 5 19 -3
10 AFC Bournemouth 14 5 3 6 18 -3
11 Watford 14 5 3 6 18 -6
12 Southampton 14 4 5 5 17 -2
13 Middlesbrough 14 3 6 5 15 -2
14 Crystal Palace 14 4 2 8 14 -2
15 Burnley 14 4 2 8 14 -11
16 Leicester City 14 3 4 7 13 -7
17 West Ham 14 3 3 8 12 -14
18 Sunderland 14 3 2 9 11 -10
19 Hull City 14 3 2 9 11 -18
20 Swansea 14 2 3 9 9 -15
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