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Matchday hat-trick

Middlesbrough 2-0 Cardiff City: What happened? Who stood out? Who disappointed? What is the mood?

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It was vitally important for Middlesbrough’s Championship play-off chances that they secured three points against Cardiff City on Wednesday night – and they didn’t disappoint.

A 2-0 victory over the Bluebirds leaves Boro sitting seventh in the Championship table, but, they are just two points behind Sheffield United in sixth.

The result then, ensured that Boro kept the pressure on the Blades going into the final two matches of the season.

Meanwhile, Cardiff, sitting 19th have nothing left to play for other than pride in the remaining weeks of the season.

Under Steve Morison, they are looking to finish the season strongly and lay a strong foundation upon which to build next campaign.

What happened?

It was a quiet start for Middlesbrough in the match, but they would go on to take the lead in the 28th minute with their first threatening strike via Marcus Tavernier.

It was well worked by Boro on the edge of the box before the ball was laid off to Tavernier, who took a touch before firing the ball towards the goal and into the bottom corner for what would be Boro’s opener on the night.

It was an impressive strike from the 23-year-old for his fourth goal of the season.

The visitors had multiple chances to get level in the match, but Boro would make them rue their missed opportunities as they got the second goal of the match.

The ball was laid off to Riley McGree for a shot on goal by Jonny Howson, with McGree’s effort taking a fortunate deflection and looping the ball over Dillon Phillips who had already dived low to his right.

It was a fortuitous goal no doubt, but Middlesbrough will not mind that one bit, as it sealed those all important three points.

Who stood out?

Jonny Howson was undoubtedly the stand out of the match and rightly awarded man of the match by the club.

Quiz: Have any of these 25 past or present Middlesbrough players ever played non-league football in England?

1 of 25

BRITT ASSSOMBALONGA

Howson was excellent in the midfield all evening, and showed great composure and technical ability in assisting McGree for Boro’s second goal.

To think that he is out of contract in the summer should be a worry for the club who will surely want to extend his stay.

Who disappointed?

Cardiff City goalkeeper Dillion Phillips certainly did not have his best night at the Riverside Stadium.

There was nothing he could have done about Boro’s second goal, but being beaten by Marcus Tavernier from range for Boro’s first will go down as a disappointment for the 26-year-old.

His distribution on the night wasn’t great either – making it an all-round poor night in-between the sticks for Phillips.

What is the mood? 

The mood at Middlesbrough has to be a good one after such an important victory.

Failure to win last night would have left them trailing the play-offs by five points with just six left to play for which would be an almost impossible position to make the top six from.

As it goes, Boro’s play-off hopes live on, but they will likely need to pick up another three points against Stoke on Saturday.

Meanwhile for Cardiff, it was a disappointing night in what has been a disappointing season for the Bluebirds.

Birmingham City are up next and they will certainly be hoping to avoid defeat in that match in front of their own fans.


BJTC accredited MA Multimedia Journalism graduate. Freelance Football Writer for FLW.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Middlesbrough 2-0 Cardiff City: What happened? Who stood out? Who disappointed? What is the mood?

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