Middlesbrough were knocked out of the FA Cup after falling to a 2-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur.
While the Teessiders put forward a late fight, it was a game that rarely looked like getting away from Jose Mourinho’s side.
The hosts took advantage of some poor play from the Teessiders as Giovani Lo Celso cut inside and placed an effort inside the post of Tomas Mejias.
Not long later Erik Lamela doubled the lead as he dispossessed Jonny Howson before jinking through the Middlesbrough defence and slotting home.
Middlesbrough looked to push their way back into the game as Lewis Wing and Ashley Fletcher had decent chances, but it was George Saville who made for a nervy ending with an excellent effort from range.
However it was too little too late as Spurs secured their place in the FA Cup fourth round.
Here’s what we learned about Middlesbrough in North London.
A difficult debut
The Tottenham Hotspur press room was full of surprise faces when they saw that Ben Liddle was to be handed his first senior start against the Premier League giants.
The 21-year-old is highly rated at the Riverside Stadium but this was to be the ultimate baptism of fire for the youngster.
Liddle showed bravery on the ball as he regularly made himself available to his teammates and looked to play a progressive ball up to the attackers, but that was where the positives ended.
Few Middlesbrough players came out of the first half with any credit and for Liddle it was clear that the test of Spurs was too much for him – s0mething which is hardly a surprise.
The hope will surely be that the experience will serve him well as he waits for his next chance in the first team.
Djed Spence is the real deal
One man who took to the challenge like a duck to water is Djed Spence.
Since bursting onto the scene in December the full-back has hardly looked back his explosive pace and confidence on the ball makes him a real threat down the right flank.
Spence faced a tough test against Ryan Sessegnon but coped well for large spells, showing that perhaps he does have the potential to make it to the Premier League.
Of course that’s a long way off for a player who’s featured in just nine senior matches, but Jonathan Woodgate will be delighted with what he saw.
How much attention have you paid to Middlesbrough this season? Let’s find out!
A bridge too far
A trip to North London was never going to be easy, and that certainly proved to be the case.
Tottenham put out a near-full strength side for the FA Cup clash and being frank, Middlesbrough struggled massively in the first half.
The defence and midfield were run ragged by the likes of Giovani Lo Celso, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela who showed exactly why they’re playing at the top end of the game.
While Middlesbrough have aspirations to move up the Championship table it was an evening where it was made painfully clear how far they’ll have to go to reach that level.
Some handled the occasion better than others, but for the group as a whole it was perhaps a bridge too far after such a positive run of recent form.