Defensive errors gift Boro win
Former Tiger King has final say in must-win game
By Hayley Paterson. Last Updated: 11/04/09 10:20pm
Bates: Scores second
Gareth Southgate's men claimed a vital win as Middlesbrough capitalised on defensive errors to beat Hull City 3-1 at the Riverside.
Before the game the Boro boss labelled the tie against the Tigers as a must-win and the home side started off the better and it took just three minutes before the deadlock was broken.
Kamil Zayatte failed to clear a long ball and his mistake allowed Afonso Alves to surge into the box and take a strike on goal. Matt Duke managed to parry the Brazilian's effort but it fell kindly to Tuncay who fired home.
As the game began to open up, City replied just six minutes later as on-loan Manchester United striker Manucho headed home a Nick Barmby cross.
With both sides attacking well and looking confident despite their Premier League positions, another goal came from an unlikely source in Matthew Bates.
The defender pulled away from his marker towards the near post and directed a Tony McMahon corner home just before the half-hour mark.
And it was Marlon King who had the final say after a mistake from Boro old boy George Boateng, and good pressure from Jeremie Aliadiere, saw King stride onto the loose ball and slot past Duke.
With manager Southgate sensing King might have a point to prove against his former club, the on-loan Wigan forward was drafted into an attacking line-up to complement Tuncay, Alves and Aliadiere.
Despite having the least prolific attack in the Premier League and his side being five points adrift of safety, Southgate's intentions were clear from the outset as the bold approach made for a fast and open game.
Boro reaped the rewards after just three minutes as the much-maligned Alves won the ball in midfield and exchanged passes with King before racing unchallenged into the box.
Duke saved low to his right as Alves shot across him but, with the Hull defence absent, Tuncay was first to the rebound and coolly finished.
The hosts looked confident and Brazilian Alves was then denied as Duke came and challenged the striker on the edge of the area.
But Boro's lead lasted just six minutes as Hull, also feeling the heat after just one win in 15, produced the perfect response when Geovanni won a corner.
Former Boro midfielder Barmby lifted the ball back into the box and leggy striker Manucho rose highest to head in his second Tigers goal.
Bernard Mendy threatened a second moments later after racing onto another fine Barmby ball but Brad Jones bravely met him on the 18-yard line.
Alves then fired over after King brought down a long ball from McMahon.
Chances continued to come at either end with David Wheater heading over from a Stewart Downing free-kick.
Craig Fagan then broke clear at the other end after a good Barmby pass but Jones just did enough to deny him a shooting chance. The ball broke to Manucho but the onrushing Angola striker scooped wide from a tight angle.
Boro reclaimed the lead just before the half-hour as Hull were caught out when Ian Ashbee failed to clear and Tuncay pressured the Hull skipper well to force a corner.
McMahon fired in a low cross for local youngster Bates to stab home his first goal for Boro.
Robert Huth had the first chance of the second half when he headed across goal from another Downing free-kick.
Another opportunity seemed to open up for King but his mis-hit shot was deflected away from goal.
Downing, captain in the absence of the injured Emanuel Pogatetz, then curled a free-kick narrowly wide after Aliadiere was fouled on the edge of the area.
Hull's hopes were hampered by poor delivery into the box but Wheater needed to head off the line when Jones spilled a Sam Ricketts cross whilst being under pressure from Manucho.
Boateng, after three months out, entered the fray against his former club with just under 20 minutes remaining and soon fired over from distance.
Aliadiere appealed for a penalty after a challenge from Zayatte but referee Phil Dowd was not interested.
Downing had a great chance when he cut back inside the area but Duke just managed to get a hand to his shot inside the post.
Ricketts then picked out Dean Marney with a good cross but his header was deflected over.
Manucho also headed over from an Andy Dawson cross as time began to run out for Hull.
Boro killed off the game when Aliadiere robbed Boateng with two minutes remaining and King rifled past Duke.
|Middlesbrough||Team Statistics||Hull City|
|2||1st Half Goals||1|
|8||Shots on Target||3|
|6||Shots off Target||7|
Barclays Premier League
|7||West Ham United||22||36|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||22||22|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||22||19|