Match ends, Ipswich Town 0, Middlesbrough 2.
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.
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.
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."
- 6BerraBooked at 58mins
- 7Maitland-NilesSubstituted forCokeat 63'minutes
- 11PitmanSubstituted forMcGoldrickat 86'minutes
- 6GibsonBooked at 41mins
- 7LeadbitterBooked at 51mins
- 18StuaniSubstituted forForshawat 85'minutes
- Tim Robinson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Ipswich Town 0, Middlesbrough 2.
Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).
Giles Coke (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough).
Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked.
Substitution, Ipswich Town. David McGoldrick replaces Brett Pitman.
Attempt missed. David Nugent (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt saved. Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Adam Forshaw.
Substitution, Middlesbrough. Adam Forshaw replaces Cristhian Stuani.
George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Luke Chambers (Ipswich Town).
Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Adam Clayton.
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.
Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).
Freddie Sears (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. David Nugent (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter.
Attempt missed. Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.
Attempt blocked. Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.