Championship
Middlesbrough2Wolves1

Middlesbrough 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Middlesbrough's Gaston Ramirez celebrates his goal against Wolves
Gaston Ramirez has scored three goals in six games since joining Middlesbrough on loan from Southampton

Gaston Ramirez scored twice to send Middlesbrough top of the Championship with victory over Wolves.

Ramirez first punished Wolves for failing to clear his initial free-kick, moving into the box unmarked to nod home from Adam Clayton's cross.

Visiting keeper Carl Ikeme kept Jordan Rhodes out before Ramirez added a fine second with a curled finish after swapping passes with George Friend.

Wolves rarely threatened before Joe Mason's header went in off Ben Gibson.

Boro, who missed the chance to go top of the table on Tuesday with defeat by Blackburn Rovers, can be overtaken at the summit on Saturday if Burnley can beat local rivals Rovers themselves.

Defeat is Wolves' fourth in five games, with Kenny Jackett's side taking just two points from 15 away from home dating back to 1 January.

Albert Adomah twice threatened for Boro early on, before on-loan Southampton midfielder Ramirez met Clayton's cross to open the scoring on 23 minutes.

Uruguayan Ramirez was a constant menace and nearly added a quick second, while Wolves laboured to make any sort of impression on Aitor Karanka's men in response.

Ikeme made a superb save to see Rhodes' effort over the bar immediately after the break, and even though the visitors were more industrious through Nathan Byrne and Bjorn Sigurdarson, their first shot on target came after Ramirez had made it 2-0.

Wolves, however, did manage to end their three-game goalless run on the road, with Mason's header deflected beyond the diving Boro goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos a minute from time.

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka:

"We needed to win again. We had chances and two goals. Ramirez is getting better every game. I knew he was a good player at Southampton and from the Premier League. After January we are a better team than we were last season: one year more experience, more quality, better players.

"But always I think promotion is decided in the last few games. We only think of winning our games, not about promotion and where we are in the table.

"We won't win it easy; there are big games ahead. Hull, Burnley, Brighton, Derby are our rivals. We have eight games in a month so we have to stay motivated and ready to play."

Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett:

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Jackett on Middlesbrough v Wolves

"The top 10 of the Championship is a very high standard. The likes of Middlesbrough have done very well to secure a high number of players here, very good quality players. When you look through the squad, you think who can play, and they have two players in every position of a similar ability.

"I felt Albert Adomah and George Friend down Boro's left and our right-hand side were dominant. It opened the hole for Ramirez to come off the front. We never really got hold of that triangle.

"We finished quite strongly, got a goal back, but in the last few minutes we couldn't really get a run at a very strong defence.

"I was disappointed we weren't able to kick on from the weekend, but it is a tall order coming here and winning."

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 24Nsue
  • 26Kalas
  • 6Gibson
  • 3Friend
  • 8Clayton
  • 34Forshaw
  • 18Stuani
  • 21RamírezSubstituted forde Sartat 88'minutes
  • 27AdomahBooked at 67mins
  • 9Rhodes

Substitutes

  • 5de Laet
  • 16de Sart
  • 19Downing
  • 22Fry
  • 23Sola Clemente
  • 25Agazzi
  • 35Nugent

Wolves

  • 1Ikeme
  • 18IorfaBooked at 23mins
  • 6Batth
  • 23Ebanks-LandellSubstituted forHauseat 19'minutes
  • 2Doherty
  • 16Coady
  • 11McDonaldBooked at 72minsSubstituted forPriceat 79'minutes
  • 8Saville
  • 25ByrneSubstituted forMasonat 65'minutes
  • 22Sigurdarson
  • 3Helan

Substitutes

  • 10Mason
  • 19Price
  • 26Martinez
  • 28Deslandes
  • 29Le Fondre
  • 30Hause
  • 35Hunte
Referee:
Stuart Attwell
Attendance:
22,110

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamWolves
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home19
Away13
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Middlesbrough 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.

Attempt saved. Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jordan Rhodes with a headed pass.

Foul by Julien de Sart (Middlesbrough).

Danny Batth (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Doherty.

Goal!

Own Goal by Ben Gibson, Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.

Attempt missed. Joe Mason (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Matt Doherty with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Julien de Sart replaces Gastón Ramírez.

Gastón Ramírez (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Björn Sigurdarson (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Attempt missed. Jordan Rhodes (Middlesbrough) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Nsue with a cross.

Jordan Rhodes (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kortney Hause (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Attempt missed. Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Jack Price replaces Kevin McDonald.

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Tomas Kalas.

Attempt blocked. Jeremy Helan (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Björn Sigurdarson.

Attempt saved. Jordan Rhodes (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Adam Forshaw with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Matt Doherty.

Booking

Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card.

Jordan Rhodes (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Dimitrios Konstantopoulos.

Attempt saved. Joe Mason (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kortney Hause.

Attempt blocked. Dominic Iorfa (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Mason with a cross.

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Cristhian Stuani.

Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).

George Saville (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Joe Mason (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right from a direct free kick.

Booking

Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough).

Björn Sigurdarson (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Björn Sigurdarson with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Joe Mason replaces Nathan Byrne.

Attempt missed. Jordan Rhodes (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a cross.

Attempt missed. George Friend (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Gastón Ramírez.

Attempt missed. Nsue (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Albert Adomah.

Attempt blocked. Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Doherty.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Middlesbrough34207747202767
2Burnley341811553272665
3Hull34197848202864
4Brighton341712549341563
5Derby341512745301557
6Sheff Wed341413750351555
7Birmingham34159104032854
8Cardiff34131384538752
9Ipswich33149104140151
10Preston341212103332148
11QPR341014104140144
12Reading331110123836243
13Brentford34127154753-643
14Wolves351110144349-643
15Nottm Forest331012113230242
16Blackburn33913113331240
17Huddersfield34109154446-239
18Leeds33814113039-938
19Bristol City34910153153-2237
20Fulham34812145156-536
21MK Dons3488182848-2032
22Rotherham3485213859-2129
23Bolton34413173256-2425
24Charlton34510193065-3525
View full Championship table

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