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Dave Barton

Dave Barton writes

Posted Saturday, August 14th 2021

📝 Report: Middlesbrough 2-1 Bristol City

City were sunk at the Riverside by a 70th-minute Matt Crooks goal as Middlesbrough took all three points.

Crooks got on the end of Uche Ikpeazu’s header from a free-kick to put the ball past Dan Bentley from close range.

The Robins had pulled themselves back into the game in the 60th minute when Andy King scored his first goal for City from Matty James’ free-kick, after Ikpeazu had given Boro a half-time lead.

THE BACKGROUND

Nigel Pearson made one change from the side that started against Blackpool, with Kasey Palmer replacing Callum O’Dowda as he did after 11 minutes on the opening day.

Palmer’s promotion from the bench saw Saikou Janneh, who scored twice against Forest Green Rovers in midweek, join the 18-man squad while Han-Noah Massengo made his first squad appearance of the season in place of the injured Joe Williams.

WHAT HAPPENED

City had more possession than Middlesbrough in the first half but did not create any clear chances. Only Rob Atkinson and Jay Dasilva both had runs into the box but couldn't get clean shots away.

At the other end, Dan Bentley was called into action when he palmed away Crooks’ shot while Djed Spence headed wide.

Ikpeazu showed what he was capable of in the 24th minute when he turned and shot wide of the post though he made no mistake after 39 minutes when he got in ahead of Dasilva to bury a cross from Isaiah Jones, who had beaten Zak Vyner on the outside.

Boro had chances to go ahead early in the second half with Crooks firing at Bentley and Ikpeazu heading wide.

Kasey Palmer went close when the ball fell to him and he pushed it past the post for his last action of the game, before being replaced by Nahki Wells.

City were soon level too when just minutes later Andi Weimann won a free kick, which James took and placed his cross into the path of King who headed home.

However, 10 minutes later Boro were ahead again when Ikpeazu headed a free-kick down and Crooks reacted quickest to poke the ball past Bentley.

James headed wide from Nathan Baker’s cross but there were few other opportunities to secure something from the game, save for a Weimann header which was just over in added time.

City v Middlesbrough: Bentley; Vyner (Kalas 78), Atkinson, Baker, Dasilva; King, James, Scott (Janneh 72), Palmer (Wells 58), Weimann, Martin. Subs not used: O'Leary, Simpson, Bakinson, Massengo.

UP NEXT

We travel to the Select Car Leasing Stadium on August 17th to face Reading (8pm KO) and tickets are now on general sale.

The club has received a maximum allocation of 2,178 tickets for the Sky Bet Championship fixture.

🎤 Post-match reaction

📸 MATCH ACTION

📊 Bristol City in numbers

  • Shots: 10
  • Total passes: 440
  • Key passes: 5
  • Pass success rate: 70%
  • Aerials won: 32
  • Tackles: 17
  • Interceptions: 12
  • Clearances: 7
  • Possession: 61.7%

Best Opta mach rating: Matty James 7.09

James in numbers:

Minutes played: 90

Assists: 1

Shots: 2

Pass accuracy: 73.9%

Key passes: 2

Aerial won: 10

Touches: 57

Tackles: 4

ON THE BALL

  • Most passes: Nathan Baker 86
  • Best pass accuracy: Andy King 83.7&
  • Most touches: Baker 100

DEFENSIVE DUTIES

  • Most tackles: James 4
  • Most interceptions: Robert Atkinson, Andreas Weimann 3
  • Most clearances: Atkinson 2

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