Match: Middlesbrough v Aston Villa
Date: Saturday 1st December 2018
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: Riverside Stadium
Chester (20), Abraham (64), Whelan (83)
Nyland; Elmohamady, Tuanzebe, Chester, Taylor; Hourihane, McGinn (Whelan), Grealish; Bolasie (Kodjia), Abraham (Hogan), El Ghazi. UNUSED SUBS: Bunn, Revan, Jedinak, O’Hare.
Story in brief
A treble-salvo either side of half-time from Aston Villa sealed a 3-0 win at Middlesbrough.Skipper, James Chester opened the scoring before Tammy Abraham added a second just after the hour mark.
Substitute, Glenn Whelan completed the scoring with a long-range effort late on.
Following an early range-finder from the hosts’ Mo Besic, Villa took control of proceedings. Conor Hourihane pinged a short corner routine over the bar and Yannick Bolasie skewed wide before Tammy Abraham’s turned a low cross goalbound, forcing Darren Randolph into a fine save low down to his left to keep the score level.
Minutes later, that resilient back-line was breached when a curling corner from Jack Grealish picked out James Chester in the middle and the Villa skipper turned the loose ball into the net to nudge the visitors in front.
Anwar El Ghazi and John McGinn both shot wide while at the other end, Stuart Downing’s thumping volley was blocked by his own player, with Jordan Hugill in the wrong place at the wrong time as far as Boro were concerned.
After the break, Bolasie’s neat trickery saw him scoot away from the full back before drilling a low ball across the face of goal but no-one could convert.
The winger would add an assist to his name before going off, driving a cross into the six-yard area for Tammy Abraham to double the visitors’ advantage.
Britt Assombalonga’s efforts to get Boro back into the game ended with him turning inside the box but blazing wide of the target from 12 yards while fellow substitute Martin Braithwaite was thwarted by a save from Ørjan Nyland.
With 10 minutes to play, Hugill’s snapshot from around the penalty spot cannoned back off the underside of the crossbar before the visitors cleared their lines.
To cap a fine away performance, substitute Glenn Whelan was teed up by Conor Hourihane on the edge of the box after good work by fellow replacement, Scott Hogan. The Irishman’s pliedriver was too hot to handle for Randolph who got down to the shot but watched as it cannoned off his hands and trickled into the net.
Tammy Abraham added another goal to his season’s tally at the Riverside Stadium.
After finding the net in consecutive games against Derby County, Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest, the on-loan Chelsea man struck again on Teesside to double Villa’s lead.
Yannick Bolasie’s teasing low ball teed him up for his seventh goal in fourth games and Abraham could barely miss, sliding in from just a couple of yards out to convert.
It’s another local derby for the claret and blues next Friday evening when they make the short journey to the Hawthorns to take on West Bromwich Albion.