Former Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren's first return to the Riverside ended in defeat for his promotion-chasing Derby County side.

McClaren was warmly welcomed by Boro fans as recognition for a five-year spell which brought League Cup success and a Uefa Cup final appearance.

But a well-taken second-half goal from Nathaniel Chalobah, his first for the home side, proved decisive.

The defeat leaves Derby fourth, 11 points adrift of second-placed Burnley.

But they have the same points advantage over Nottingham Forest in seventh and, with six games remaining, a play-off spot looks relatively secure.

Not a happy hunting ground

Middlesbrough have now won seven of their last seven eight meetings with Derby at the Riverside Stadium, drawing one. The Rams' last win there was a 4-1 Premier League victory in January 2000

After a cagey start, Danny Graham had Boro's first real chance, but fired over from inside the box.

Lee Tomlin then squandered a great opportunity for the hosts, firing straight at Lee Grant, but McClaren's side finished the half strongly with Lee Martin blocked by Kenneth Omeruo and Dimi Konstantopoulos palming away George Thorne's follow-up.

As Derby continued to press after the break, Craig Bryson drilled a 20-yard effort straight at Konstantopoulos, Patrick Bamford headed a cross over and Andre Wisdom curled a shot just wide.

Boro went close as a Chalobah through-ball sent Albert Adomah racing into the box, but he poked wide under pressure from defender Jake Buxton.

The deadlock was finally broken on 69 minutes as Emmanuel Ledesma cut in from the right and threaded a ball in for on-loan Chelsea midfielder Chalobah to rifle a low shot inside the far post.

Derby had a chance to level five minutes from time as Conor Sammon floated a free-kick to the far post, but a stretching Buxton poked wide.

Steve McClaren, Derby manager:

"That wasn't us today. We were below-par and that's been very rare.

"We played at a low tempo and, although I thought we bossed that game in terms of possession, we lacked the urgency, penetration and ruthlessness we usually show and we got punished for it. And you could see it coming."

Aitor Karanka, Middlesbrough manager:

"We played very well against a good side who are trying to get into the play-offs. It shows everybody that when we play like a team we can beat any team in this league.

"We played well to beat Brighton last week and now to beat Derby too. We worked very hard and we took one chance.

"The last four or five games at home we have played well but now we are scoring goals and that means you can get positive results."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Middlesbrough

  • 13 Konstantopoulos
  • 08 Varga
  • 03 Friend Booked
  • 07 Leadbitter Booked
  • 25 Omeruo
  • 22 Gibson
  • 14 Williams (Butterfield - 79' )
  • 24 Chalobah
  • 09 Graham
  • 10 Tomlin (Ledesma - 59' )
  • 27 Adomah (Main - 93' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Steele
  • 06 Butterfield
  • 11 Ledesma
  • 23 Main
  • 29 Kamara
  • 36 Atkinson
  • 37 Kitching

Derby County

  • 01 Grant
  • 33 Wisdom
  • 03 Forsyth
  • 34 Thorne Booked (Naylor - 86' )
  • 06 Keogh
  • 25 Buxton
  • 04 Bryson
  • 08 Hendrick
  • 09 Martin
  • 35 Bamford Booked (Hughes - 78' )
  • 11 Russell (Sammon - 61' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Naylor
  • 14 Eustace
  • 15 O'Brien
  • 18 Sammon
  • 19 Hughes
  • 26 Legzdins
  • 27 Whitbread
Ref: Andy Haines
Att: 15,234

Match Stats

Shots

11 13

On target

2 3

Corners

7 2

Fouls

11 11

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Middlesbrough 1, Derby County 0.

90:00 +5:39 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Derby County 0.

90:00 +4:40

Jake Buxton (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +4:40

Foul by Danny Graham (Middlesbrough).

90:00 +3:34

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by George Friend.

90:00 +2:37

Foul by Conor Sammon (Derby County).

90:00 +2:37

Nathaniel Chalobah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +2:18 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Curtis Main replaces Albert Adomah.

90:00 +1:36

Attempt missed. Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

89:25

Attempt missed. Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Jacob Butterfield.

85:54

Attempt missed. Conor Sammon (Derby County) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Will Hughes.

85:35 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Derby County. Lee Naylor replaces George Thorne.

84:47

Attempt missed. Jake Buxton (Derby County) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Craig Bryson following a set piece situation.

84:03

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

82:51

Delay in match Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) because of an injury.

82:39

Chris Martin (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

82:39

Foul by Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough).

81:37 Booking

Booking George Thorne (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

81:31

Foul by George Thorne (Derby County).

81:31

Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

80:42

Foul by Craig Bryson (Derby County).

80:42

Nathaniel Chalobah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

78:28 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Jacob Butterfield replaces Luke Williams.

77:01 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Derby County. Will Hughes replaces Patrick Bamford.

76:40 Booking

Booking George Friend (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

76:16

Andre Wisdom (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:16

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

74:18

Foul by George Thorne (Derby County).

74:18

József Varga (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

73:23

George Thorne (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

73:23

Foul by Luke Williams (Middlesbrough).

70:16

Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

70:16

Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).

68:56 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Middlesbrough 1, Derby County 0. Nathaniel Chalobah (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma.

64:09

Attempt missed. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Nathaniel Chalobah.

62:44

Attempt missed. Andre Wisdom (Derby County) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left.

60:02 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Derby County. Conor Sammon replaces Johnny Russell.

58:50

Foul by Andre Wisdom (Derby County).

58:50

Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

58:23 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma replaces Lee Tomlin.

57:53

Attempt missed. Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter with a cross following a set piece situation.

57:09 Booking

Booking Patrick Bamford (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

56:57

Foul by Patrick Bamford (Derby County).

56:57

Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

53:29

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Andre Wisdom.

52:59

Craig Bryson (Derby County).

52:59

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

49:48

Attempt missed. Patrick Bamford (Derby County) header from a difficult angle on the right is too high. Assisted by Johnny Russell with a cross.

49:22

Chris Martin (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

49:22

Foul by Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough).

47:39

Attempt saved. Craig Bryson (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by George Thorne.

45:00

Second Half begins Middlesbrough 0, Derby County 0.

45:00 +1:05 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Middlesbrough 0, Derby County 0.

44:00

Attempt blocked. Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Albert Adomah.

43:33

Attempt saved. George Thorne (Derby County) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Richard Keogh.

41:58

Foul by Chris Martin (Derby County).

41:58

Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:22

Attempt missed. Chris Martin (Derby County) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Craig Forsyth with a cross.

36:55

Foul by Patrick Bamford (Derby County).

36:55

Luke Williams (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:57 Booking

Booking Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

34:42

Craig Bryson (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:42

Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).

34:32

Attempt saved. Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Danny Graham.

33:56

Attempt missed. Patrick Bamford (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Craig Bryson.

33:26

Attempt blocked. Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Luke Williams with a cross.

33:12

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Richard Keogh.

32:57

Attempt blocked. Nathaniel Chalobah (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter with a cross.

32:37

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by George Thorne.

29:56

Foul by Patrick Bamford (Derby County).

29:56

Nathaniel Chalobah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

27:34

Attempt blocked. Chris Martin (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrick Bamford.

23:38

Attempt blocked. Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

22:41

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by George Friend.

20:18

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Patrick Bamford.

18:17

Attempt missed. Luke Williams (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a cross.

17:35

Offside, Middlesbrough. George Friend tries a through ball, but Danny Graham is caught offside.

16:28

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Craig Forsyth.

16:01

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Andre Wisdom.

14:21

Attempt missed. Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Lee Tomlin.

10:41

Attempt blocked. Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Martin.

10:13

Johnny Russell (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:13

Foul by József Varga (Middlesbrough).

9:16

Attempt missed. Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter following a corner.

8:38

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by George Thorne.

8:36

Attempt blocked. George Friend (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from long range on the left is blocked. Assisted by Luke Williams.

6:36

Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

6:36

Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).

5:08

Patrick Bamford (Derby County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

5:08

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

4:32

Foul by Craig Bryson (Derby County).

4:32

Nathaniel Chalobah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:16

Foul by József Varga (Middlesbrough).

0:16

Craig Forsyth (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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