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Middlesbrough 1 Arsenal 2

Middlesbrough
1 - 2
Arsenal

Riverside

Mon 17th Apr 8.00pm

Attendance: 31,298

Referee:

Middlesbrough are still six points away from immediate safety with a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal at the Riverside.

The Gunners went in front just before the break from Alexis Sanchez's well-struck free-kick, although Alvaro Negredo soon equalised when turning in Stewart Downing's early second-half cross.

However, Mesut Ozil duly restored the visitors' advantage, claiming what proved the winner with nineteen minutes remaining.

The Teessiders were able to welcome back both Fabio and Gaston Ramirez to their starting line-up, while George Friend also returned on the bench.

Arsene Wenger's side had early claims for a penalty as Daniel Ayala wrestled with Olivier Giroud at a corner - that in between home midfielder Grant Leadbitter twice trying his luck.

French striker Giroud was soon threatening again at the other end before Boro playmaker Marten de Roon had the ball in the net - only from an offside position.

But when Adam Clayton brought down Granit Xhaka with just four minutes of the opening half remaining, Sanchez clinically despatched the free-kick for an interval lead.

Relegation-threatened Boro weren't behind for long, though, with Negredo getting on the end of Downing's early second-half cross and prodding a close-range equaliser.

Downing was then too high with a rising effort before his set-piece was headed back by early substitute Friend - on for the injured Fabio - and Ayala appeared set to turn it in until the ball was scrambled away.

Home keeper Brad Guzan was next tested by German midfielder Ozil, who still drove what proved the winner after Aaron Ramsey chested down Sanchez's 71st minute cross.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could even have added a third goal for the visitors after Negredo's effort lacked sufficient force at the opposite end.

Middlesbrough: Guzan, Barragan, Ayala, Gibson, Fabio (Friend 17), Clayton, de Roon (Gestede 79), Leadbitter, Ramirez (Traore 68), Negredo, Downing

subs (unused): Konstantopoulos, Bernardo, Bamford, Forshaw

Goals: Negredo (50)

Arsenal: Cech, Gabriel, Koscielny, Holding, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Monreal, Ozil (Bellerin 90), Sanchez (Coquelin 90), Giroud

subs (unused): Gibbs, Walcott, Iwobi, Martinez, Elneny

Goals: Sanchez (42), Ozil (71)

Ref: A. Taylor

Att: 31,298


Writer:Vital Boro
Date:Monday April 17 2017
Time: 10:45PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Chelsea 34 26 3 5 81 43
2 Spurs 34 23 8 3 77 49
3 Liverpool 34 19 9 6 66 28
4 Man City 34 19 9 6 66 28
5 Man Utd 34 17 14 3 65 26
6 Arsenal 33 18 6 9 60 22
7 Everton 35 16 10 9 58 20
8 WBA 34 12 8 14 44 -4
9 Southampton 33 11 8 14 41 -5
10 AFC Bournemouth 35 11 8 16 41 -13
11 Leicester City 34 11 7 16 40 -12
12 Stoke 35 10 10 15 40 -13
13 Watford 33 11 7 15 40 -17
14 Burnley 35 11 6 18 39 -14
15 West Ham 35 10 9 16 39 -15
16 Crystal Palace 35 11 5 19 38 -10
17 Hull City 35 9 7 19 34 -31
18 Swansea 35 9 5 21 32 -29
19 Middlesbrough 35 5 13 17 28 -19
R Sunderland 34 5 6 23 21 -34
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