Boro Edge Past Wednesday To Go Top
5.15pm Monday December 28th 2015
A One - Nil win propelled Middlesbrough back to the top of the Championship table. A goal within 44 seconds was enough to beat Wednesday, but that doesn't tell the whole story of the match. Wednesday changed at half-time by outspoken boss Carlos Carvalhal looked the more likely to steal a point in the second half but despite Nuhiu's and Forestieri's best efforts the Owls woes away from Hillsborough continue.
The game started with a bang as fans at the Riverside and watching at home or t`pub via Sky Sports were just taking their seats as an attack from the Owls right, witnessed Liam Palmer failing to block Downing`s cross which was neatly dispatched past Wildsmith by Boro forward Stuani. This despite left back Wiggins last gasp challenge to distract him.
Boro should have led by more at the break, as the home side dominated the first half with Wednesday retaining the ball for spells but not doing much with it. Emilio Nsue saw his shot deflected just over before the Spaniard then fired wide at the back post.
Carlos Carvalhal made a double substitution at half-time bringing on Forestieri and Pudil for Semedo and Hutchinson, with the latter reportedly suffering from a knee injury. The Owls sparked into life and were much improved after the break. The trio of Lee, Bannan and Forestieri started to take the game to Boro and for the first time in many games their fans and defenders looked concerned.
Barry Bannan sent a dipping long-range volley straight at home keeper Dimi Konstantopoulos and shortly after Owls main man Fernando Forestieri failed to scramble the ball home when it fell to him after a inswinging Bannan corner. The host also had chances in particular from deadbolt situations as Ayala headed over from Grant Leadbitter's deep free-kick. Boro also fired warning shots at Wildsmith`s goal but the home side didn't cause the Owls to much concern.
As the game edged closer to the final whistle sub Daniel Pudil flicked another Bannan corner onto the bar as Wednesday searched in for a dramatic equaliser, but it never arrived.
Wednesday recorded another away loss and dropped points against those above them in the league table. Carlos Carvalhal will be looking for those to improve in the first game of 2016 away at Fulham.
Bannan was at the heart of all things that Wednesday did well at the Riverside. Despite a few misplaced flicks and passes the Scottish midfielder ran the game for Wednesday and underlined why many Wednesdayites want him signed up to a longer contract.