Championship
BlackpoolBlackpool1MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough2
Spanish striker Kike
Striker Kike joined from Spanish side Murcia

Middlesbrough moved to the top of the Championship after Kike headed a late winner against bottom side Blackpool.

The Spaniard met Lee Tomlin's cross in the 88th minute and his header dropped in over the line after clipping the underside of the bar.

Jonathan Woodgate had emphatically nodded in a corner in the 81st minute as the visitors took the lead.

Blackpool thought they had secured a draw when Ben Gibson turned the ball into his own net, before Kike struck.

Derby could only manage a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth, which meant Aitor Karanka's side moved to the summit for the first time this season as the Cherries slipped to second place.

Former Real Madrid defender Karanka took charge of the North East side in November 2013 and has overseen a 10-game unbeaten run, winning six.

Middlesbrough's rise to the top
Played: 30 Won: 17 Draw: 8 Lost: 5
For: 48 Against: 20 Points: 59

Lee Clark's Blackpool side could easily have gone ahead in the first 20 seconds as Charles Dunne cut in from the left, but his shot was collected by Boro goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos.

Middlesbrough almost took the lead after five minutes as Adam Clayton picked out Adam Forshaw with a free-kick, but his effort from six yards crept just wide.

Joe Lewis was called into action for Blackpool, saving low to his left from a Daniel Ayala header and then kept out Kike's effort with his feet.

The pressure from the visitors continued in the second half and they broke the deadlock on 81 minutes through veteran centre-back Woodgate, who headed in Grant Leadbitter's corner for his first goal since November 2012.

Blackpool equalised four minutes later when Gibson failed to deal with a cross into the area and could only head into his own goal, before Kike's late intervention won the points for Middlesbrough.

Blackpool manager Lee Clark:

"We're frustrated and disappointed. You think when you equalise late in the game you're going to take a point from it.

"On a very tough pitch we've gone and matched Middlesbrough in every aspect of the game but I think it shows you the quality that their squad possesses.

"We're disappointed with the two goals. One from a corner and one from a throw in. We should do better than that.

"It's a frustrating night because we deserved a point. Whether we deserved a win is another matter but we deserved a point for the battling performance."

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka:

"We are working to stay top obviously, but this league is very difficult. It's hard to be in that position.

"There are all the teams that are going to be fighting in the same way like us but we have a very good squad and a very good atmosphere in the team. If we think everything is done now we are making a very big mistake.

"It was a massive win because in Spain we say that in these pitches is where you can achieve biggest success.

"It's been very important for us especially when we have played with six or seven different players, so it means the squad that I have is brilliant."

Line-ups

Blackpool

  • 1Lewis
  • 29McMahon
  • 6ClarkeBooked at 4mins
  • 48O'Dea
  • 18DunneSubstituted forMaherat 49'minutes
  • 4Perkins
  • 31O'Hara
  • 11Orlandi
  • 34Telford
  • 40CameronSubstituted forDelfounesoat 73'minutes
  • 9DaviesSubstituted forMadineat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Aldred
  • 3Maher
  • 12Rothwell
  • 14Delfouneso
  • 21Parish
  • 24Madine
  • 33Waddington

Middlesbrough

  • 13Konstantopoulos
  • 18WhiteheadSubstituted forLeadbitterat 60'minutes
  • 4AyalaSubstituted forGibsonat 51'minutes
  • 39Woodgate
  • 26Kalas
  • 8Clayton
  • 34Forshaw
  • 27Adomah
  • 21VossenSubstituted forTomlinat 81'minutes
  • 20Reach
  • 9Kike

Substitutes

  • 6Gibson
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 10Tomlin
  • 11Ledesma
  • 22Omeruo
  • 23Bamford
  • 40Mejias
Referee:
Chris Kavanagh
Attendance:
10,806

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackpoolAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home9
Away14
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home8
Away5
Fouls
Home14
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Blackpool 1, Middlesbrough 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Blackpool 1, Middlesbrough 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kike (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Peter Clarke (Blackpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jamie O'Hara (Blackpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Dominic Telford (Blackpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jamie O'Hara.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tony McMahon (Blackpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Nathan Delfouneso.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Blackpool 1, Middlesbrough 2. Kike (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Lee Tomlin.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dominic Telford (Blackpool) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by David Perkins with a cross.

  10. Goal!

    Own Goal by Ben Gibson, Middlesbrough. Blackpool 1, Middlesbrough 1.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Blackpool. Conceded by Jonathan Woodgate.

  12. Goal!

    Goal! Blackpool 0, Middlesbrough 1. Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough) header from very close range to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter with a cross following a corner.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Nathan Delfouneso.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Lee Tomlin replaces Jelle Vossen.

  15. Post update

    Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Gary Madine (Blackpool).

  17. Post update

    Foul by Adam Reach (Middlesbrough).

  18. Post update

    Nathan Delfouneso (Blackpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Kike (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Clayton.

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