Boro Blast QPR
By Rob Nichols
Monday 25 Feb 2019 13:59:00
Browse all Match Reviews articles

An early goal by Jonny Howson was a taste of things to come as Boro ran out comfortable 2-0 winners over QPR on Saturday. Boro finally brought the away form back to the Riverside. With Mikel bossing the middle of the park, Ryan Shotton calling the shots at the back and a two man spearhead up front, Boro made a dominant first half count, building a 2-0 lead. There was no way back after the break as QPR eventually settled for keeping the score down and even when they broke through our defences Darren Randolph was just too good.

Jonny Howson arrived from the flank as wing back to tap home a smart move after only 2 minutes on Saturday. Any early nerves were immediately gone and when Ashley Fletcher crashed home a second it looked like easy pickings for Boro.

To be fair to Steve McClaren's QPR they showed plenty of swift attacking guile but precious little penetration when and where it mattered most. Boro's realigned defences coped admirably. Fry stood in well for George Friend and even showed plenty of pace and strength in powering forward. Shotton looked commanding giving out plenty of instruction. Daniel Ayala made a sound return from suspension.

Ashley Fletcher is really seizing his opportunity and it was almost as if he had spent the last week kicking himself over his scuffed chances at Blackburn. Given half a chance he absolutely lashed it into the roof of the net, it was almost past the keeper before he had chance to react.

John Obi Mikel delivered another master class in midfield. Who would have predicted that a defensive midfielder signing would have had quite possibly more positive, attacking influence on our set up than any number of failed winger and attacking targets? He really has transformed the scene, allowing all those around him to have the licence to run at opponents and attack, attack, attack.

In this match it was Mo Besic who showed great attacking intent, surging into the box at every opportunity. It was his set up for Fletcher's crashing second goal. And on this showing he deserved the rest to sit out the final half hour (replaced by Downing).

Boro had the luxury of being able to control the second half. Britt would be kicking himself he squandered chances to run through a defence that was so far from watertight. He really should have scored when Downing and Wing set him up for a shot from the penalty spot. But there will be no complaints if Britt saves those goals for when it really matters.

Boro now have a home league win under the belt for 2019 and can return to the north west with real optimism that we can make it three in a row at Wigan. As long as we keep on winning it doesn't matter what Derby or Bristol City do we stay in the play offs. At the moment both those sides are showing the ability to wobble.

Come On Boro

Middlebrough 2-0 QPR – Howson, Fletcher

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