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Middlesbrough 0-1 Blackburn Rovers: Joe Rothwell scores winner for visitors


Jarrad Branthwaite challenge on Dael Fry
Jarrad Branthwaite’s high-footed challenge on Dael Fry went unpunished, despite the Boro defender having to leave the pitch with a bloodied face

Blackburn Rovers came away from Middlesbrough with a controversial 1-0 win to move up to ninth in the Championship.

The game’s major talking point came in the 14th minute, when Boro were denied a penalty and a possible Rovers red card after Jarrad Branthwaite sliced the face of Dael Fry with a very high foot which forced the defender off with a nasty-looking injury.

Fry’s replacement Nathan Wood hit the post from close range on the hour mark after Thomas Kaminski had palmed away Jonny Howson’s header from a corner.

The deadlock was finally broken against the run of play when Joe Rothwell side-footed home unmarked from 12 yards after an excellent passing move between Harvey Elliott and Adam Armstrong.

The win sees Rovers move three points and two places below Boro, who themselves remain three points and one place outside the play-off places.

Armstrong had Blackburn’s best first-half effort when he blasted a fifth-minute shot across the face of goal after good build-up work by Rothwell and Barry Douglas.

But the hosts had the better of the first period, with Britt Assombalonga forcing Kaminski to palm a free-kick over the bar, while in stoppage time Rothwell did well to block a Djed Spence effort after some good build-up play.

Boro were the better side immediately after the break as well – Marcus Tavernier and Sam Morsy both went close before Wood hit the post.

Once Rothwell scored with his side’s first shot on target, Rovers came into the game as Douglas blasted over from close range, while Marcus Bettinelli saved well after the Championship’s top scorer Armstrong had been put through by Ben Brereton.

Armstrong curled an effort over the bar from 15 yards with seven minutes of the game remaining, while substitute Ashley Fletcher headed wide for Boro in stoppage time as Blackburn won back-to-back away games for the first time since April 2019.

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Bettinelli
  • 29Spence
  • 6FrySubstituted forWoodat 18′minutes
  • 17McNair
  • 27BolaBooked at 88mins
  • 5MorsyBooked at 57minsSubstituted forJohnsonat 72′minutes
  • 16Howson
  • 22Saville
  • 7TavernierBooked at 81minsSubstituted forRobertsat 81′minutes
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 18WatmoreSubstituted forFletcherat 72′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Johnson
  • 8Wing
  • 10Akpom
  • 11Fletcher
  • 13Archer
  • 15Wood
  • 19Roberts
  • 33Coulson
  • 34Hackney

Blackburn

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Kaminski
  • 2Nyambe
  • 26Lenihan
  • 30Branthwaite
  • 15Douglas
  • 27Travis
  • 18DavenportBooked at 26minsSubstituted forTrybullat 86′minutes
  • 4JohnsonSubstituted forBuckleyat 10′minutesSubstituted forDackat 65′minutes
  • 16ElliottSubstituted forBreretonat 65′minutes
  • 7Armstrong
  • 8RothwellSubstituted forGallagherat 65′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Downing
  • 9Gallagher
  • 13Pears
  • 17Bell
  • 19Trybull
  • 20Brereton
  • 21Buckley
  • 23Dack
  • 39Dolan

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