Matthew Upson's late header inflicted a first home defeat on Middlesbrough since the opening day as Brighton moved to within two points of the Championship play-off places.

Brighton had chances in the first half as Ashley Barnes' header hit the post.

But Boro could have gone ahead when Upson cleared off the line before Lukas Jutkiewicz fired wide.

Against the run of play, Brighton then won a disputed corner with Upson heading in four minutes from time.

Away-day glee

  • Brighton have lost only twice on the road this season. It is the lowest total of away defeats in the Championship but a record they share with Derby, Burnley, Forest, Watford and QPR

It meant Brighton boss Oscar Garcia won the battle of the Championship's Spanish managers with Aitor Karanka's Boro side now three points above the relegation zone, having won one of their last seven matches.

Barnes' early header came amid several opportunities for the visitors, with Middlesbrough goalkeeper Shay Given preventing an own goal by Jonathan Woodgate immediately afterwards.

David Lopez could not find a way past Given either.

Mustapha Carayol's 20-yard shot was saved by Brighton stopper Peter Brezovan after 26 minutes, and it led to a change in fortunes as Jutkiewicz failed to test the visiting goalkeeper from George Friend's cross.

Further chances came and went for Grant Leadbitter, Friend, Carayol and Jutkiewicz.

But Brighton snatched the points when Upson connected with a downward header that bounced up and inside the post.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka:

"Of course I am angry. We are giving gifts to our opponents in every game.

"I can't believe it. It is the same thing again. It is not normal to play so many games when you are probably better than your opponents but you do not get the points.

"It is always a lack of concentration. It cannot continue in this way. Here we are again after five games now saying the same things.

"All we can do is work hard. The biggest problem though is focus. My hope is that in the next games the players concentrate until the very last minute."

Brighton & Hove Albion assistant head coach Nathan Jones:

"All three points are big, especially in this league. To come away here and get three points is massive.

"We had to grind it out. We weren't fluent in anything, we had to shore it up but we made positive substitutions to try and win the game.

"Seriously, I cant say how big a win this is. It keeps our momentum going."

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Middlesbrough

  • 12 Given
  • 04 Williams (Williams - 89' )
  • 03 Friend
  • 07 Leadbitter
  • 39 Woodgate (Gibson - 45' )
  • 26 Ayala
  • 27 Adomah
  • 18 Whitehead
  • 09 Jutkiewicz (Main - 73' )
  • 06 Butterfield
  • 19 Carayol

Substitutes

  • 05 Richardson
  • 13 Konstantopoulos
  • 14 Williams
  • 22 Gibson
  • 23 Main
  • 33 Smallwood
  • 38 Haroun

Brighton & Hove Albion

  • 01 Brezovan
  • 02 Bruno
  • 17 Ward (Calderón - 75' )
  • 38 Ince
  • 06 El-Abd
  • 20 Upson Booked
  • 08 Crofts
  • 26 Bridcutt
  • 09 Barnes (Ulloa - 83' )
  • 21 D. López (Lua Lua - 60' )
  • 23 Conway

Substitutes

  • 04 Andrews
  • 05 Dunk
  • 10 Agustien
  • 14 Calderón
  • 19 Ulloa
  • 25 Lua Lua
  • 31 Walton
Ref: Mark Haywood
Att: 13,635

Match Stats

Shots

13 7

On target

3 3

Corners

10 5

Fouls

9 6

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Middlesbrough 0, Brighton and Hove Albion 1.

90:00 +4:15 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 0, Brighton and Hove Albion 1.

90:00 +2:55

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Liam Bridcutt tries a through ball, but Leonardo Ulloa is caught offside.

90:00 +2:21

Liam Bridcutt (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +2:21

Foul by Jacob Butterfield (Middlesbrough).

90:00 +1:27

Attempt missed. Curtis Main (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a cross.

89:55

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Peter Brezovan.

89:18

Foul by Adam El-Abd (Brighton and Hove Albion).

89:18

Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

88:41 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Luke Williams replaces Rhys Williams.

85:02 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Middlesbrough 0, Brighton and Hove Albion 1. Matthew Upson (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Craig Conway with a cross following a corner.

84:30

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Dean Whitehead.

82:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Leonardo Ulloa replaces Ashley Barnes.

79:27

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Bruno.

77:22

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Adam El-Abd.

75:22

Craig Conway (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

75:22

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

74:38 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Íñigo Calderón replaces Stephen Ward.

72:56

Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

72:56

Foul by Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough).

72:12 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Curtis Main replaces Lukas Jutkiewicz.

70:48

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Adam El-Abd.

69:40 Booking

Booking Matthew Upson (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

69:36

Foul by Matthew Upson (Brighton and Hove Albion).

69:36

Lukas Jutkiewicz (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

68:52

Attempt missed. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Dean Whitehead.

68:18

Attempt missed. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Mustapha Carayol with a cross following a corner.

67:50

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Liam Bridcutt.

66:24

Attempt missed. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Middlesbrough) header from the left side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a cross.

64:17

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Bruno.

60:47

Foul by Rohan Ince (Brighton and Hove Albion).

60:47

Jacob Butterfield (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

59:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Kazenga Lua Lua replaces David López.

58:28

Liam Bridcutt (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:28

Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).

57:06

Attempt saved. Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

56:37

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Adam El-Abd.

55:25

Attempt missed. Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jacob Butterfield.

49:56

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Liam Bridcutt.

46:48

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Shay Given.

46:44

Attempt saved. Stephen Ward (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Craig Conway.

45:00

Second Half begins Middlesbrough 0, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Ben Gibson replaces Jonathan Woodgate because of an injury.

45:00 +2:25 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Middlesbrough 0, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

45:00 +0:42

Foul by Ashley Barnes (Brighton and Hove Albion).

45:00 +0:42

Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

42:58

Attempt missed. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by George Friend with a cross.

40:18

Attempt saved. Jacob Butterfield (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mustapha Carayol.

37:21

Attempt blocked. Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter.

36:39

Foul by Rohan Ince (Brighton and Hove Albion).

36:39

Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:39

Craig Conway (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

34:39

Foul by Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough).

30:48

Ashley Barnes (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

30:48

Foul by Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough).

28:53

Attempt missed. Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter with a cross following a set piece situation.

28:02

Foul by Liam Bridcutt (Brighton and Hove Albion).

28:02

Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

27:18

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by George Friend.

27:16

Attempt blocked. Ashley Barnes (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked. Assisted by David López.

25:40

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Peter Brezovan.

25:35

Attempt saved. Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by George Friend.

22:10

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

20:38

Delay in match Matthew Upson (Brighton and Hove Albion) because of an injury.

20:28

Matthew Upson (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:28

Dangerous play by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

19:55

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Matthew Upson.

18:29

Attempt blocked. Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is blocked. Assisted by Albert Adomah.

17:03

Attempt saved. David López (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

14:52

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Stephen Ward tries a through ball, but Ashley Barnes is caught offside.

13:33

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Stephen Ward tries a through ball, but Craig Conway is caught offside.

11:26

Attempt missed. Andrew Crofts (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

9:46

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Shay Given.

9:31

Ashley Barnes (Brighton and Hove Albion) hits the left post with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Craig Conway with a cross following a corner.

9:01

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Daniel Ayala.

7:02

Attempt blocked. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Dean Whitehead.

5:17

Craig Conway (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

5:17

Foul by Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough).

4:15

Attempt missed. Rohan Ince (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the right.

2:02

Rohan Ince (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

2:02

Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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