Premier League
Middlesbrough1Hull0

Middlesbrough 1-0 Hull City

Gaston Ramirez
Gaston Ramirez scored his second goal of the season to secure victory for Middlesbrough

A Gaston Ramirez header was enough to give Middlesbrough only a second win since August and leave Hull stuck in the Premier League relegation zone.

Ramirez, the game's outstanding player, nodded in Viktor Fischer's corner after being left unmarked at the back post.

Fischer earlier had a goal ruled out for offside, while Boro striker Alvaro Negredo wasted two good chances.

Hull, who have lost eight of their past 10 league games, rallied late on but did not deserve a point.

The Tigers remain 19th in the table, two points above bottom club Swansea and one from safety.

Boro, who have now lost only one in six, climb to 13th, four points above the relegation zone.

Ramirez runs the show

It was entirely appropriate that Ramirez settled a low-quality affair between two sides that were promoted from the Championship last season.

The Uruguayan, playing against one of his former clubs, was a consistent threat down the Middlesbrough right, an attacking exception in a game in which both sides preferred to exercise caution until the closing stages.

In the first half, he played his part in creating an opening for Negredo, only for the home frontman to slice over, with Ramirez himself also forcing a save from David Marshall with an effort from long distance.

A quarter of an hour into the second half he made the telling intervention, left alone by marker Adama Diomande to bounce a header inside the far post.

Even as Boro began to sit back, the former Southampton man was instrumental in creating an opening that eventually saw Fischer shoot wide.

"He sees things on the pitch that other people in this match were not able to spot," said former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson on BBC Radio 5 live. "He was the class act in a very dull game."

Average positions
Hull's lack of attacking endeavour is illustrated by the average positions graphic. The Tigers, on the right, had only one player who took up an average position in the Middlesbrough half.

Hull endeavour comes too late

Until they went behind, Hull were camped inside their own half, either through the necessity of having to defend or a desire to settle for a point.

While central defenders Michael Dawson and Curtis Davies were excellent, the visitors showed virtually no quality or incision going forward and were often incapable of simply keeping the ball.

A Diomande run into the Boro box, halted by a brilliant Ben Gibson tackle, was Hull's only attack of note in the first half and the Tigers did not threaten until the hosts retreated to protect their lead.

Even then, a tame Dawson header and a scuffed Sam Clucas effort seemed like the closest they would come until Diomande caused Boro some late nerves.

A long-range shot forced a flying save from Victor Valdes, with the same man failing to connect with a back-post lunge at a corner. It was much too little, much too late.

"I'm very fearful for Hull," said Lawrenson. "Looking at them and what they have got I think they will go down."

Man of the match - Gaston Ramirez

Gaston Ramirez
A simple decision. Ramirez provided the moments of quality in an otherwise poor game.

'We have to keep our heads above water'

Media playback is not supported on this device

Karanka pleased with 'deserved' win for Boro

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka: "We deserved to win, we had a lot of chances and all of the possession. We were confident on the pitch and once we went ahead we had the experience to manage the game.

"Sometimes Gaston Ramirez will score, sometimes another player, but we won promotion to the Premier League by playing as a team and that is how we stay.

"We have 15 points - we must keep going and working together. We have to fight with the teams in the relegation positions because we are a newly promoted team. We have done nothing yet."

Media playback is not supported on this device

Ridiculous goal cost Hull - Phelan

Hull boss Mike Phelan: "We tried to drag something out of it but it was really, really disappointing. We gave away a ridiculous goal from a set-piece, we all have jobs to do and we didn't concentrate.

"We defended well at times and after they scored we came into it but we have to do better and not concede when we don't need to. We all understand the predicament we are in and hardship that we face but we have enough players to do certain jobs.

"We are short on the ground, we have added a couple, but we are where we are because of the beginning of the season. We have to keep our heads above water."

Boro use their heads - the facts

  • Gaston Ramirez's goal was Middlesbrough's sixth headed goal of the season - only West Ham and Crystal Palace (eight each) have scored more in the Premier League.
  • Indeed, only West Ham (53%) have scored a higher proportion of headed goals in the Premier League this season than Middlesbrough (46% - 6/13).
  • Hull are winless in their past nine away league games against Middlesbrough, since a 2-1 win in March 1986.
  • The Tigers have lost their past five Premier League away games - their worst run in the division since a run of six in April 2010.
  • Viktor Fischer mustered six shots in this game, the most by a Middlesbrough player in a single Premier League match this season.
  • Middlesbrough have won two of their past three Premier League home games - as many as they had won in their previous 18 at the Riverside in the division.

What's next?

Hull welcome fellow strugglers Crystal Palace on Saturday, while Boro make the long trip to Southampton on Sunday.

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

  • 26Valdés
  • 17Barragán
  • 25Chambers
  • 6Gibson
  • 2da SilvaBooked at 72mins
  • 14de Roon
  • 8Clayton
  • 34Forshaw
  • 21RamírezSubstituted forDowningat 87'minutes
  • 10Negredo
  • 11FischerSubstituted forStuaniat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Bernardo
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 12Guzan
  • 18Stuani
  • 19Downing
  • 24Nsue
  • 37Traoré

Hull

  • 23Marshall
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 21Dawson
  • 6Davies
  • 3Robertson
  • 10Snodgrass
  • 14LivermoreBooked at 15minsSubstituted forHuddlestoneat 62'minutes
  • 11Clucas
  • 25MasonSubstituted forBowenat 62'minutes
  • 22HenriksenSubstituted forMeylerat 81'minutes
  • 20Diomande

Substitutes

  • 5Maguire
  • 7Meyler
  • 8Huddlestone
  • 16Jakupovic
  • 17Weir
  • 28Tymon
  • 29Bowen
Referee:
Mike Dean
Attendance:
27,395

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamHull
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home16
Away6
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home13
Away7
Fouls
Home6
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Middlesbrough 1, Hull City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Hull City 0.

Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).

David Meyler (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Tom Huddlestone (Hull City).

Foul by Álvaro Negredo (Middlesbrough).

Curtis Davies (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Víctor Valdés.

Attempt saved. Adama Diomande (Hull City) right footed shot from long range on the left is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Sam Clucas.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by David Meyler.

Offside, Middlesbrough. Fabio tries a through ball, but Stewart Downing is caught offside.

Fabio (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jarrod Bowen (Hull City).

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Stewart Downing replaces Gastón Ramírez because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Gastón Ramírez (Middlesbrough) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Sam Clucas (Hull City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Adama Diomande.

Attempt saved. Michael Dawson (Hull City) header from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Tom Huddlestone.

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Antonio Barragán.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Hull City. David Meyler replaces Markus Henriksen.

Delay in match Calum Chambers (Middlesbrough) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Cristhian Stuani replaces Viktor Fischer.

Attempt missed. Viktor Fischer (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right.

Viktor Fischer (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Hull City).

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Andrew Robertson.

Attempt missed. Sam Clucas (Hull City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Calum Chambers.

Attempt saved. Álvaro Negredo (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Fabio with a cross.

Marten de Roon (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Dangerous play by Robert Snodgrass (Hull City).

Viktor Fischer (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Markus Henriksen (Hull City).

Booking

Fabio (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Fabio (Middlesbrough).

Adama Diomande (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Michael Dawson.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Monday 5th December 2016

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea14111232112134
2Arsenal1494133141931
3Liverpool1493235181730
4Man City1493230151530
5Tottenham1476124101427
6Man Utd145631916321
7West Brom145542017320
8Everton145541716120
9Stoke145451619-319
10Bournemouth145361922-318
11Watford145361824-618
12Southampton144551315-217
13Middlesbrough143651315-215
14Crystal Palace144282426-214
15Burnley144281223-1114
16Leicester143471724-713
17West Ham143381529-1412
18Sunderland143291424-1011
19Hull143291129-1811
20Swansea142391631-159
View full Premier League table

Top Stories