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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 Man City 2 2 0 0 6 4
2 Man Utd 2 2 0 0 6 4
3 Hull City 2 2 0 0 6 3
4 Chelsea 2 2 0 0 6 2
5 Everton 2 1 1 0 4 1
6 Middlesbrough 2 1 1 0 4 1
7 Spurs 2 1 1 0 4 1
8 Burnley 2 1 0 1 3 1
9 WBA 2 1 0 1 3 0
10 West Ham 2 1 0 1 3 0
11 Liverpool 2 1 0 1 3 -1
12 Swansea 2 1 0 1 3 -1
13 Arsenal 2 0 1 1 1 -1
14 Watford 2 0 1 1 1 -1
15 Leicester City 2 0 1 1 1 -1
16 Southampton 2 0 1 1 1 -2
17 Stoke 2 0 1 1 1 -3
18 Sunderland 2 0 0 2 0 -2
19 Crystal Palace 2 0 0 2 0 -2
20 AFC Bournemouth 2 0 0 2 0 -3
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