Championship
IpswichIpswich Town0MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough2

Ipswich Town 0-2 Middlesbrough

By Gary SmeeBBC Sport
Christian Stuani goal
Middlesbrough's Christian Stuani has been capped 26 times by Uruguay

Middlesbrough moved to the top of the Championship for the first time this season as two second-half goals gave them victory at Ipswich Town.

The best chance of a goalless first half saw Ipswich captain Luke Chambers' half-volley saved at point-blank range by Dimi Konstantopoulos.

Boro went ahead after the break as Albert Adomah's fine cross left striker Christian Stuani with a simple header.

David Nugent's deflected low shot then squeezed in off the post make it 2-0.

Aitor Karanka's Middlesbrough, who have been in the top six since mid-September, looked lacklustre before the break but were clinical in the second half to climb above unbeaten Brighton at the summit.

However, the south coast side will return to the top if they beat lowly Charlton at home on Saturday.

Ipswich, who could have moved into the play-off places with victory, were the better side in the first half as Brett Pitman's powerful snap shot and Chambers' effort from a couple of yards out almost gave the Tractor Boys the lead.

David Nugent
David Nugent slots home Middlesbrough's second

Any danger of the first-ever goalless draw between the two sides at Portman Road was ended when Ghana winger Adomah fizzed a wonderful cross in from the left which Stuani could not miss from six yards.

Nugent kept up his incredible record of scoring in every game he has played against Ipswich when he netted his 15th goal in 14 appearances, albeit with a slight deflection off Tommy Smith.

Konstantopoulos kept Middlesbrough's two-goal lead intact with a fine reflex save after Jonas Knudsen ghosted in unmarked at the far post late on.

The visitors almost extended their advantage in the final few minutes as Stewart Downing's curling shot was tipped away by Dean Gerken and Adomah's stinging strike was blocked by Chambers, but they had already done enough to earn their 12th win of the season.

Luke Chambers
Luke Chambers saw the best effort of the first half saved by Dimi Konstantopoulos
Aitor Karanka
Aitor Karanka led Middlesbrough to the Championship play-off final last season

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy: "We shaded it slightly and I said at half-time it would be whoever blinked first or let their guard down.

"We didn't defend the far post for the first goal and when that goes in, it changes the game.

"They are a very good side and will be competing for a top-two place at the end of the season.

"In Stewart Downing and David Nugent, they have two Premier League footballers probably on Premier League salaries. Nugent didn't have a kick before his goal, but he took it well."

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka: "It was an amazing win. We haven't won here since March 1993 and Ipswich were the better team in the first half when they were comfortable, played with more intensity and had the better chances.

"If they had scored the first goal, we would have had a problem. But we played better in the second half and we controlled the game.

"It is good being at the top of the table. We are there because we are doing good things and we have an amazing squad, a better one than last season. But there is still a long way to go."

Line-ups

Ipswich

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Gerken
  • 4Chambers
  • 5Smith
  • 6BerraBooked at 58mins
  • 3Knudsen
  • 7Maitland-NilesSubstituted forCokeat 63'minutes
  • 8Skuse
  • 22Douglas
  • 11PitmanSubstituted forMcGoldrickat 86'minutes
  • 9Murphy
  • 20Sears

Substitutes

  • 2Parr
  • 10McGoldrick
  • 16Coke
  • 18Tabb
  • 21Malarczyk
  • 26McDonnell
  • 33Bialkowski

Middlesbrough

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 24Nsue
  • 4Ayala
  • 6GibsonBooked at 41mins
  • 3Friend
  • 8Clayton
  • 7LeadbitterBooked at 51mins
  • 18StuaniSubstituted forForshawat 85'minutes
  • 19Downing
  • 27Adomah
  • 35Nugent

Substitutes

  • 5Amorebieta
  • 9Kike
  • 13Mejias
  • 26Kalas
  • 31Fabbrini
  • 34Forshaw
  • 36Zuculini
Referee:
Tim Robinson
Attendance:
17,662

Match Stats

Home TeamIpswichAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home12
Away16
Shots on Target
Home5
Away8
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home7
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ipswich Town 0, Middlesbrough 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ipswich Town 0, Middlesbrough 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

  4. Post update

    Giles Coke (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  5. Post update

    Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough).

  6. Post update

    Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Ipswich Town. David McGoldrick replaces Brett Pitman.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. David Nugent (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  10. Post update

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

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Adam Forshaw replaces Cristhian Stuani.

  12. Post update

    George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Luke Chambers (Ipswich Town).

  14. Post update

    Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Adam Clayton.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich Town) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luke Chambers with a cross.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).

  17. Post update

    Freddie Sears (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Middlesbrough19123429121739
2Brighton18108024141038
3Derby18106226111536
4Hull18105327111635
5Burnley189722617934
6Birmingham188462520528
7Sheff Wed187742522328
8Ipswich197752827128
9Reading197662622427
10Cardiff186841916326
11QPR197572425-126
12Brentford187472425-125
13Fulham185763130122
14Blackburn184951918121
15Wolves185672223-121
16Nottm Forest185581619-320
17Leeds184771621-519
18Preston183961316-318
19MK Dons1844101524-916
20Bristol City183781830-1216
21Charlton1844101529-1416
22Huddersfield183691728-1115
23Rotherham1843112133-1215
24Bolton181981225-1312
View full Championship table

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