Championship
FulhamFulham4MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough3

Fulham 4-3 Middlesbrough

Ross McCormack
Ross McCormack has scored 19 goals for Fulham since his £11m move from Leeds last summer

Middlesbrough's hopes of automatic promotion have been severely dented by losing a seven-goal thriller at Fulham.

Ross McCormack completed his hat-trick in stoppage time, with Boro goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos upfield for a corner as their 10 men chased a winner.

Michael Turner's header and two McCormack penalties put Fulham 3-1 up, Adam Reach replying for the visitors, who had George Friend sent off.

Daniel Ayala and Kike brought Boro level before the dramatic conclusion.

Fulham's win, coupled with Norwich's draw at Rotherham, confirmed Watford's promotion to the Premier League.

If Bournemouth beat Bolton on Monday, the second-placed Cherries would move three points clear of Boro and with a vastly-superior goal difference over Aitor Karanka's side heading into the final day.

The defeat was harsh on the Teessiders, who fought back bravely in the final 20 minutes with 10 men after Friend was dismissed for the foul on Hugo Rodallega that led to Fulham's second spot-kick.

Turner, on loan from Middlesbrough's promotion rivals Norwich, nodded in the opener from close range after Shaun Hutchinson met a Bryan Ruiz corner.

After the break, Konstantopoulos made a superb save to keep out Rodallega's header but Fulham soon doubled their lead when Ayala fouled McCormack in the area and the Scotland striker converted from 12 yards.

Karanka made a triple substitution in an attempt to change the game and it worked almost immediately, with replacement Reach's low shot beating Marcus Bettinelli.

McCormack's second penalty looked to have killed the game as a contest, but Ayala headed in Albert Adomah's cross with 17 minutes to go to set up a tense finish.

And after Ayala and Patrick Bamford narrowly missed the target, Kike popped up with the equaliser.

But as they pressed for a winner, Boro left their net unguarded and Fulham cleared a corner to McCormack, who rolled the ball into an empty net to seal a dramatic victory.

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka:

"The goalkeeper went up because I felt that one point wasn't enough and we needed three points.

"Now I am sitting here at the table one point might have been enough but at that time I preferred to take risks so I told him to go.

"When you take a risk and you concede a goal the following day you can say that it was because you took a risk. But the problem with not taking a risk is that you will never know what would have happened if you did.

"It will be difficult now because Bournemouth have two more games and one win will be no problem.

"But our aim was to get into the play-offs. We wanted the play-offs two or three weeks ago."

Fulham manager Kit Symons:

"It was a proper roller-coaster of a game. We actually played very well.

"It was a good performance, which I wanted to give to the fans as although that makes it five unbeaten, in recent games here it hasn't been pretty.

"It has been scrappy and ugly and we have had to play a different way and forgo certain elements of my footballing principles to make sure of the results we needed."

Patrick Bamford
Patrick Bamford, the Championship's Player of the Year, recovered from a knock to start for Boro
Michael Turner
Michael Turner's first goal for Fulham put the hosts ahead before half-time
Kike
Kike's header completed Middlesbrough's comeback from 3-1 down
Ross McCormack
McCormack raced clear in added time to complete his hat-trick and earn victory for Fulham
Middlesbrough players
Middlesbrough may have to settle for a play-off spot as they look to end their six-year top-flight exile

Line-ups

Fulham

  • 40Bettinelli
  • 2Hoogland
  • 4Hutchinson
  • 18Turner
  • 29Richards
  • 19Tunnicliffe
  • 13GuthrieBooked at 50minsSubstituted forFofanaat 76'minutes
  • 32KavanaghBooked at 42mins
  • 10RuizSubstituted forWoodrowat 81'minutes
  • 20RodallegaSubstituted forSmithat 88'minutes
  • 44McCormack

Substitutes

  • 1Kiraly
  • 9Smith
  • 12Fofana
  • 14Roberts
  • 15Voser
  • 16Woodrow
  • 33Burn

Middlesbrough

  • 13Konstantopoulos
  • 5FredericksSubstituted forReachat 61'minutes
  • 4Ayala
  • 6GibsonBooked at 59mins
  • 3FriendBooked at 66mins
  • 8ClaytonSubstituted forForshawat 61'minutes
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 27AdomahBooked at 33mins
  • 21VossenSubstituted forKikeat 61'minutes
  • 10Tomlin
  • 23Bamford

Substitutes

  • 9Kike
  • 12Ripley
  • 18Whitehead
  • 20Reach
  • 24Nsue
  • 32Tiendalli
  • 34Forshaw
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
22,731

Match Stats

Home TeamFulhamAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home14
Away17
Shots on Target
Home8
Away6
Corners
Home3
Away10
Fouls
Home6
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Fulham 4, Middlesbrough 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Fulham 4, Middlesbrough 3.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Fulham 4, Middlesbrough 3. Ross McCormack (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Michael Turner.

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Tim Hoogland.

  6. Post update

    Ross McCormack (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter.

  10. Goal!

    Goal! Fulham 3, Middlesbrough 3. Kike (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lee Tomlin following a corner.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Tim Hoogland.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Fulham. Matt Smith replaces Hugo Rodallega.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Marcus Bettinelli.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Cauley Woodrow.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ross McCormack (Fulham) right footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Hugo Rodallega.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Michael Turner.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Fulham. Cauley Woodrow replaces Bryan Ruiz.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from very close range is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Adam Reach with a cross.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ross McCormack (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Sean Kavanagh.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Watford452771190494188
2Bournemouth442412892454784
3Middlesbrough452591168373184
4Norwich4524111084463883
5Ipswich4522121170511978
6Derby4521141085533277
7Brentford452291475591675
8Wolves4521121266541275
9Blackburn451616136357664
10Charlton451418135457-360
11Birmingham451515155364-1160
12Nottm Forest451514167067359
13Cardiff451514165560-559
14Sheff Wed451417144248-659
15Leeds451510205061-1155
16Huddersfield451315175875-1754
17Fulham451410216079-1952
18Bolton441312195463-951
19Reading441211214467-2347
20Brighton451016194454-1046
21Rotherham441015194466-2242
22Millwall45914224072-3241
23Wigan45912243961-2239
24Blackpool45413283691-5525
View full Championship table

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