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