Middlesbrough fell to a 4-0 defeat against Leeds United at Elland Road.
Jonathan Woodgate’s side struggled to contain Marcelo Bielsa’s side as the promotion-contenders recorded a comfortable victory.
Patrick Bamford opened the scoring for Leeds with a close-range header after three minutes, before Mateusz Klich doubled the lead just before the break.
Leeds continued to dominate in the second half and got their reward when Helder Costa fired home from the edge of the area, before Klich curled home a stunning fourth.
It was a bad afternoon for Woodgate’s side, but what did we learn about Middlesbrough? Let’s take a look.
Aynsley Pears showing real potential
It was far from a flattering scoreline, but there was one player who came out of the game with huge credit.
Despite making a mistake leading to Patrick Bamford’s opener, Pears recovered incredibly well and made a number of excellent saves throughout to keep Middlesbrough in the game.
If the 21-year-old can continue improving at this rate then there’s no doubt that he’s capable of being first choice in the years to come.
A desperate need to strengthen
The result was far from ideal, but what was really concerning was the look of 18 players in the matchday squad.
Jonathan Woodgate selected eight academy graduates in the matchday squad, but instead of this being a point of pride it was more a case of the club being down to the bare bones.
Middlesbrough look incredibly thin at the moment, and with plenty of games coming up you can only imagine it getting worse before it gets better, meaning that new signings in January are an absolute must.
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A worry with Britt Assombalonga
A point that ties in nicely with the need to strengthen.
The striker has been struggling with an ankle injury of late and was taken off during the defeat at Elland Road with the frontman looking particularly uncomfortable.
Middlesbrough are incredibly reliant on Britt Assombalonga and fans will be praying that he can shake off this injury, otherwise the club could struggle in the coming weeks.