Tuesday 26 September 2017

Arnautovic puts Boro into bottom three

Stoke City 2 Middlesbrough 0

Stoke City's Joe Allen in action with Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson. Photo: Reuters
Stoke City's Joe Allen in action with Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson. Photo: Reuters

Middlesbrough dropped into the Premier League relegation zone as Marko Arnautovic's first-half brace condemned them to defeat at Stoke.

Boro fell behind in the 29th minute via a fine strike from Arnautovic, who then added a close-range finish three minutes before half-time.

Middlesbrough's Adama Traore finds a way between Stoke City's Bruno Martins Indi and Ramadan Sobhi. Photo: Reuters
Middlesbrough's Adama Traore finds a way between Stoke City's Bruno Martins Indi and Ramadan Sobhi. Photo: Reuters

The Teessiders, who are winless in 10 league matches and have failed to score in their last four, drop down a place to 18th in the table, with Crystal Palace moving up to 17th and three points clear of them with a 2-0 win at West Brom.

Boro's major problem is hitting the back of the net - they are the lowest scorers in the division, with just 19 for the season.

While there was a disallowed goal for Ben Gibson in the second half here, Aitor Karanka's side rarely looked like scoring - and they might have lost by more, with Ramadan Sobhi hitting the bar early on and having a late header well saved by Victor Valdes.

It was hardly a surprise to hear some booing at the final whistle from the travelling supporters, who should be seriously fearful about their team's predicament.

Middlesbrough's Adama Traore tussles with Stoke City's Erik Pieters. Photo: Reuters
Middlesbrough's Adama Traore tussles with Stoke City's Erik Pieters. Photo: Reuters

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