Sport Soccer

Saturday 23 September 2017

Stoke v Middlesbrough - Story of the match

Two goals from Marko Arnautovic saw Stoke sink Middlesbrough
Two goals from Marko Arnautovic saw Stoke sink Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough dropped into the Premier League relegation zone as Marko Arnautovic's first-half brace condemned them to a 2-0 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.

Aitor Karanka's men, who are winless in 10 league matches and have failed to score in their last four, are 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.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

"Section of #boro fans singing 'Aitor Karanka it's time to go home'" - The Gazette's Middlesbrough editor PhilipTallentire (@PTallentireGaz) during the second half.

STAR MAN

Marko Arnautovic. A frequent menace for Boro's vulnerable-looking defence until being forced to come off in the 65th minute.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Arnautovic's first goal. The Austrian attacker showed his class as he brought down Glenn Whelan's long forward pass, got away from George Friend and Victor Valdes and fired into the net.

DATA POINT

In the last three matches that Arnautovic has scored in, he has netted twice on each occasion. He also got doubles for Stoke at Sunderland in January and Austria against Wales in October.

RATINGS

Stoke

Lee Grant 6 (out of 10)

Glen Johnson 6

Ryan Shawcross 6

Bruno Martins Indi 6

Erik Pieters 6

Glenn Whelan 7

Geoff Cameron 7

Marko Arnautovic 8

Joe Allen 7

Ramadan Sobhi 7

Peter Crouch 7

Substitutes:

Mame Diouf (for Arnautovic, 65 mins) 6

Saido Berahino (for Crouch, 79) 6

Ibrahim Afellay (for Martins Indi, 87) 6

Middlesbrough

Victor Valdes 7

Fabio 5

Ben Gibson 6

Daniel Ayala 4

George Friend 5

Adama Traore 6

Marten de Roon 5

Grant Leadbitter 6

Adam Clayton 5

Gaston Ramirez 5

Rudy Gestede 5

Substitutes:

Bernardo Espinosa (for Ayala, 8) 5

Cristhian Stuani (for Ramirez, 46) 5

Adlene Guedioura (for Leadbitter, 75) 5

WHO'S UP NEXT?

Manchester City v Stoke (Premier League, March 8)

Middlesbrough v Manchester City (FA Cup, March 11)

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