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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 22 18 1 3 55 32
2 Arsenal 22 14 5 3 47 27
3 Spurs 22 13 7 2 46 29
4 Liverpool 22 13 6 3 45 24
5 Man City 22 13 4 5 43 15
6 Man Utd 22 11 8 3 41 12
7 Everton 22 10 6 6 36 10
8 WBA 22 9 5 8 32 2
9 Stoke 22 7 7 8 28 -6
10 West Ham 22 8 4 10 28 -7
11 Southampton 22 7 6 9 27 -4
12 AFC Bournemouth 22 7 5 10 26 -7
13 Burnley 22 8 2 12 26 -9
14 Watford 22 6 6 10 24 -13
15 Leicester City 22 5 6 11 21 -13
16 Middlesbrough 22 4 8 10 20 -7
17 Swansea 22 5 3 14 18 -25
18 Crystal Palace 22 4 4 14 16 -11
19 Hull City 22 4 4 14 16 -27
20 Sunderland 22 4 3 15 15 -22
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