Match Facts: How Middlesbrough rated

The Advertiser Series: OPENING GOAL: Middlesbrough's players celebrate Daniel Ayala's headed goal against Birmingham OPENING GOAL: Middlesbrough's players celebrate Daniel Ayala's headed goal against Birmingham

Goals:

1-0: Ayala (33, lost his marker in the area and headed home Leadbitter’s corner from the edge of the six-yard box)

2-0: Kike (66, hooked home the rebound after Tomlin’s initial shot had been blocked in the penalty area)

Bookings: Eardley (55, foul), Ayala (62, foul)

Referee: Graham Salisbury (Preston) – Kept his interventions to a minimum and wasn’t in a hurry to reach for his cards, which was commendable 6

Attendance: 18,371

Entertainment: 4/5

 

MIDDLESBROUGH (4-2-3-1):

Mejias: Only had one routine save to make all afternoon, but commanded his area well and dealt with crosses effectively 7

Hines: Doesn’t look like a natural right-back, but held things together defensively even if he struggled to get forward 6

Ayala: Had a fairly easy day at the back and made no mistake with his header as the penalty box parted for him before the break 7

Gibson: The season couldn’t really have got off to a worse start as he damaged his hamstring within the opening 15 seconds 5

Friend: As energetic and committed as ever, with his barnstorming runs down the left creating a number of chances 7

Leadbitter: Neat, tidy and composed at the base of midfield, with his passes generally finding their intended target 7

Whitehead: Started sloppily in the opening quarter-of-an-hour, but improved from thereon in and looked good in the second half 6

Adomah: Had one of his quieter afternoons, but might well have scored had Randolph not been so quick from his line 6

Tomlin:  Ran the game from his attacking midfield position and already looks to have struck up a successful partnership with Kike 8

Reach: Made the starting line-up on the back of some strong pre-season displays, and justified his place with a bright performance 7

KIKE: Capped his dream debut with a crisply-taken goal and looks to have an all-round attacking game without any glaring weaknesses 9

Subs:

Omeruo (for Gibson, 4): Wouldn’t have been expecting his early introduction, but slotted in seamlessly to remind everyone just how good he is 8

Nsue (for Adomah, 67): Looks to have a fair bit of pace and came close with a late shot that was well saved 6

L Williams (for Tomlin, 87)

(not used): Konstantopoulos (gk), Husband, Fewster, Smallwood.

 

BIRMINGHAM (4-2-3-1):

RANDOLPH 7; Eardley 5, Hall 4, Robinson 5, Grounds 5; Edgar 4, Gleeson 4; Gray 6, Shinnie 3 (Duffy 55, 5), Novak 4; Thomas 5 (Donaldson 67, 4).

Subs (not used): Doyle (gk), Gunning, Cotterill, Brown, Caddis.

 

Man Of The Match: KIKE – IT might only be one game, but Boro’s new Spanish striker is already well on the way to becoming a crowd favourite.

 

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree