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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
C Chelsea 38 30 3 5 93 52
2 Spurs 38 26 8 4 86 60
3 Man City 38 23 9 6 78 41
4 Liverpool 38 22 10 6 76 36
5 Arsenal 38 23 6 9 75 33
6 Man Utd 38 18 15 5 69 25
7 Everton 38 17 10 11 61 18
8 Southampton 38 12 10 16 46 -7
9 AFC Bournemouth 38 12 10 16 46 -12
10 WBA 38 12 9 17 45 -8
11 West Ham 38 12 9 17 45 -17
12 Leicester City 38 12 8 18 44 -15
13 Stoke 38 11 11 16 44 -15
14 Crystal Palace 38 12 5 21 41 -13
15 Swansea 38 12 5 21 41 -25
16 Burnley 38 11 7 20 40 -16
17 Watford 38 11 7 20 40 -28
R Hull City 38 9 7 22 34 -43
R Middlesbrough 38 5 13 20 28 -26
R Sunderland 38 6 6 26 24 -40
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