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Sky Bet Championship

Selhurst Park (ATT 15,198) 17th September 2011 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: G Sutton

C Palace Crystal Palace vs Middlesbrough M'boro

ft

M'boro 1

M Emnes (65)
J Bennett (S/O 75)

Boro top after Marvin's winner

Last Updated: 17/09/11 5:59pm

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Emnes: Netted the winner

Emnes: Netted the winner

Marvin Emnes scored his eighth goal of the season as 10-man Middlesbrough moved to the Championship summit with a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace.

The in-form striker netted the winner midway through the second-half to ensure Tony Mowbray's side, who had Joe Bennett sent off, maintained their unbeaten start to the season.

After a fine start to the campaign, Palace failed to get on the scoresheet for the first time this season as Jermaine Easter was denied by the crossbar late on.

The Eagles slipped to their second consecutive Championship defeat and their first home loss of the campaign.

The hosts had the opening chances of the match.

Defender Patrick McCarthy, who scored against Leeds last week, headed Darren Ambrose's corner over before Easter, after a surging run, struck a fierce shot from 25 yards that Boro goalkeeper Carl Ikeme had to tip over the crossbar.

Palace continued to attack and Ikeme was tested again, this time Jonathan Parr was denied from 20 yards.

Finally, after plenty of early possession, Boro had their first chances. Barry Robson had a shot blocked before Eagles shot-stopper Julian Speroni was tested for the first time after 25 minutes from an ambitious Joe Bennett 30-yard effort.

Robson had another effort from distance but Speroni gathered with ease.

After hesitant defending from Boro's back-line, the ball fell to Parr but the midfielder drilled his 25-yard strike over the crossbar.

Striker Sean Scannell was a thorn in Middlesbrough's defence, attacking at pace, and was unlucky not to provide the opener when Ikeme almost parried his deflected shot into the path of fellow frontman Easter.

With the final act of the first half, Faris Haroun headed Robson's teasing corner over the crossbar.

Mile Jedinak, five minutes after half time, tested Ikeme but the goalkeeper was equal to the midfielder's 20-yard strike, before Easter's snap shot flew over the crossbar.

Speroni had to tip over a Justin Hoyte cross and, after Palace failed to clear from the resulting corner, the visitors broke the deadlock against the run of play after 65 minutes when Emnes found the net from a tight angle.

Substitute Wilfried Zaha, replacing Ambrose, almost made an immediate impact but failed to find an end product after a mazy run through the Boro defence.

The game sparked into life after 75 minutes when Boro were reduced to 10 men after Bennett was given a second yellow card for bringing down the lively Zaha.

Zaha, after a lucky break, squared the ball to Easter but the striker fired against the bar eight minutes from time.

Despite four minutes of added time, Murray could only head straight at Ikeme, while Emnes should have wrapped up the game with the last kick of the game but he fired wide.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23