Middlesbrough 0-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

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.

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.

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Nathan Jones: Brighton coach after Middlesbrough victory

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."

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1QPR2012621442
2Burnley2011721740
3Leicester2012351039
4Derby2011451637
5Reading20974734
6Leeds201037933
7Nottm Forest20884732
8Brighton20875731
9Blackpool20875031
10Ipswich20866630
11Blackburn20767127
12Huddersfield20758126
13Watford20677225
14Birmingham20659023
15Wigan18648-122
16Bolton19577-322
17Bournemouth206410-1422
18Millwall20569-1521
19Middlesbrough20488-120
20Doncaster205510-1720
21Charlton204610-918
22Sheff Wed19388-817
23Yeovil204511-1017
24Barnsley203611-1915
View full Championship table

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