Charlton sink awful Boro
By Patrick Goss. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Charlton kept up their perfect start to the season with a well-deserved 3-0 victory against a sorry Middlesbrough side at the Riverside on Sunday.
A first-half opener from the impressive Dennis Rommedahl, defender Chris Perry's nicely taken second and an injury time third from prolific Darren Bent left Middlesbrough's fans apoplectic at a dismal performance, against a side who have now won all three games this campaign.
Charlton had been good value for a lead at half time, although Boro wasted chances to draw level after Rommedahl's well-worked and well-taken 38th minute strike.
With Boro huffing and puffing and ultimately leaving their fans frustrated, Charlton sat back and controlled things.
Boro had started brightly, Yakubu inches away from meeting a Ray Parlour pass and then heading over after Stewart Downing had picked him out with a deft bouncing cross.
But Rommedahl was drifting past Franck Queudrue all too easily down the right and watched Gareth Southgate clear a dangerous cross after retrieving an apparent lost cause.
Bent snatched at a half-chance whilst Downing fired well over after a good run from Michael Reiziger, but Rommedhal finally provided the end product his industry deserved when Danny Murphy's slide rule pass allowed him to slot past Mark Schwarzer first time.
The closest Boro had come after Yakubu's early efforts had been a mis-hit Queudrue cross, but Luke Young was forced to clear off the line from the full back after confusion in the Charlton area.
Soon afterwards, Yakubu received the ball inside the area and pushed the ball out for young James Morrison, who drew a fine diving save from Stephan Anderson.
Yakubu is desperate to prove his worth to the Boro fans, but he was left embarrassed soon afterwards when he swung and missed after touching the ball away with his standing foot - perhaps the perfect microcosm of his side's first half.
After the restart, substitute Gaizka Mendieta was slow to react to a dropping ball and Murphy curled a free-kick just wide.
With Rommedahl still ripping the Boro defence to shreds, the day got a little worse when Mendieta had to be withdrawn - just 12 minutes after arriving from the substitutes' bench.
Mark Viduka's snap-shot warmed Anderson's palms, and another sub - debutant Emanuel Pogatetz - saw his effort from a corner cleared from the goalmouth by Alexei Smertin.
Bent curled an effort wide as it deteriorated into a vastly disappointing day for Boro and boos - for the referee, the opposition but mainly for their own team's inadequacies - rang out from the stands.
Massimo Maccarone had come on for Mendieta and he nearly lifted the mood when his shot from the edge of the box was only parried by Andersen - who claimed at the second attempt.
But that smattering of applause gave way to more disenchantment when Murphy's clever free-kick was turned in with a striker's instinct by Perry, whose sidefooted slot home sent the home fans marching for the exits.
Those that left early were spared the embarrassment of a third goal - Bent making it four goals in three games when he waltzed through to smash home.
Click here for Middlesbrough v Charlton players ratings.
|Middlesbrough||Team Statistics||Charlton Athletic|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|5||Shots on Target||5|
|6||Shots off Target||3|
Barclays Premier League
|8||West Bromwich Albion||38||49|
|10||West Ham United||38||46|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||38||25|