Championship
FulhamFulham0MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough2

Fulham 0-2 Middlesbrough

Albert Adomah
Albert Adomah's first-half header was his fifth league goal in 29 appearances for Boro this season

Middlesbrough moved a point off top place in the Championship table with a convincing victory against Fulham.

Albert Adomah gave Boro the lead early on, heading in Stewart Downing's cross.

The goal set the tone for an energetic away display full of quality and they deservedly made it 2-0 against lacklustre opposition at the break through Grant Leadbitter's penalty.

Fulham improved but rarely threatened and their slim hopes were ended when Richard Stearman was sent off late on.

Stearman's dismissal, for bringing down substitute Jordan Rhodes with three minutes remaining, made little difference to a result that sees the west Londoners drop to 20th in the table.

Middlesbrough stay third after Burnley fought back to beat Bolton, but there is now only one point between the top three and Boro have two games in hand on the Clarets and one game in hand on second-placed Hull City.

David Nugent wins a first-half penalty for Middlesbrough against Fulham
Chris Baird (right) brings down David Nugent on his second start for Fulham after returning from Derby

An away win seemed inevitable as Boro were 2-0 up inside 20 minutes, through Adomah's well-controlled header and Leadbitter's low spot-kick, after David Nugent was fouled by Chris Baird.

But for all their first-half dominance, Fulham twice went close to scoring just before being booed off at the break.

Moussa Dembele, who replaced the injured Ryan Fredericks after 22 minutes, tested keeper Dimi Konstantopolous with an overhead kick and Madl's header was somehow cleared off the line by Ritchie de Laet.

The visitors continued to control things after the interval, with Adomah, Emilio Nsue and Downing all going close against a Fulham team who have now won just three times in 21 matches.

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka:

"Sometimes when we score one goal we have problems scoring the second one. Today we scored two goals quickly and after that the game became easier.

"If we were to win every single game by 2-0, it would not be a problem for me. I know we are going to score goals because we have a lot of good players.

"Adomah played the same game as he did last Tuesday, and when he plays like that he's one of the best in the league."

Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic:

"We tried to be more aggressive. We made a few chances but they were more solid generally and more organised. They deserved their three points.

"For the sending-off, possibly he was the last player and I don't know whether he was in a dangerous area.

"It meant that we could not push on for the last few minutes, because we made the important mistakes at the beginning of the game.

"The result is bad, it's very clear, and we did not make a good performance. We are inconsistent - some days we do a good job and some days we don't."

Albert Adomah
Winger Adomah marked his 100th league start for Middlesbrough with a tireless display and the opening goal of the game
Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho is a close friend of Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka and was watching at Craven Cottage
Middlesbrough's Ritchie De Laet's clears Michael Madl's header off the line during the game against Fulham
Middlesbrough's Ritchie de Laet's goalline clearance stopped Fulham from ending a poor first half on a high

Line-ups

Fulham

Formation 5-3-2

  • 24Lonergan
  • 7FredericksSubstituted forDembeleat 22'minutes
  • 5StearmanBooked at 86mins
  • 33BurnBooked at 71mins
  • 15Madl
  • 3Garbutt
  • 10Cairney
  • 8Parker
  • 22BairdSubstituted forLabyadat 57'minutes
  • 44McCormack
  • 19TunnicliffeSubstituted forO'Haraat 68'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 2Richards
  • 11Kacaniklic
  • 12Lewis
  • 20Labyad
  • 23O'Hara
  • 25Dembele
  • 28Hyndman

Middlesbrough

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 24Nsue
  • 22Fry
  • 6Gibson
  • 5de Laet
  • 34Forshaw
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 27Adomah
  • 21RamírezSubstituted forFriendat 87'minutes
  • 19DowningSubstituted forStuaniat 73'minutes
  • 35NugentSubstituted forRhodesat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Friend
  • 9Rhodes
  • 10De Pena
  • 13Mejias
  • 16de Sart
  • 18Stuani
  • 26Kalas
Referee:
Charles Breakspear
Attendance:
18,862

Match Stats

Home TeamFulhamAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home12
Away13
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home3
Away11
Fouls
Home11
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Fulham 0, Middlesbrough 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Fulham 0, Middlesbrough 2.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Dan Burn.

  4. Booking

    Jamie O'Hara (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Jamie O'Hara (Fulham).

  6. Post update

    Cristhian Stuani (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jamie O'Hara.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jamie O'Hara.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Luke Garbutt.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Scott Parker.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. George Friend replaces Gastón Ramírez.

  12. Dismissal

    Richard Stearman (Fulham) is shown the red card.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Richard Stearman (Fulham).

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Moussa Dembele (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jamie O'Hara (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Moussa Dembele.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jamie O'Hara (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Tom Cairney.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Jordan Rhodes replaces David Nugent.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michael Madl (Fulham) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.