Norwich 0-1 Middlesbrough: Visitors move top of the Championship with crucial victory

first_imgMiddlesbrough moved top of the Championship with a gritty and vital 1-0 victory against automatic promotion rivals Norwich at Carrow Road.Alexander Tettey’s eighth minute own goal proved the difference between the sides on a potentially pivotal night in the race to reach the Premier League.Aitor Karanka’s side were good value for the three points which sees them leapfrog their opponents, Watford and Bournemouth in the process, although they had to rely on a brilliant stoppage time block from Ben Gibson to secure the win.The visitors settled much the quicker and threatened through Jelle Vossen’s snapshot before they deservedly went ahead.An inswinging corner by Adam Clayton was misjudged by Tettey, and the midfielder looped a header over John Ruddy into the far corner with Boro winger Albert Adomah ensuring it had crossed the line.Norwich should have equalised just ten minutes later after stemming some of the visitors’ momentum, but Jonny Howson inexplicably headed wide from eight yards with the goal at his mercy.Alex Neil will bemoan his side’s lack of impetus in attack and the Norwich manager introduced Gary Hooper, Nathan Redmond and Lewis Grabban in the second half in an attempt to turn the tide.In truth, the Canaries failed to test Dimitrios Konstantopoulos in the Boro goal and the visitors probably should have been out of sight, but leading scorer Patrick Bamford skewed wide when through on goal.The Norwich pressure intensified in the final minutes and would have forged an equaliser but for Gibson’s crucial block to deny captain Russell Martin, allowing Karanka and his team to celebrate a priceless three points. 1last_img

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