MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough1West BromWest Bromwich Albion0

Middlesbrough 1-0 West Brom

By Brendon MitchellBBC Sport
Daniel Ayala
Daniel Ayala marked his first league start of the season with a late winner at the Riverside

Daniel Ayala scored a stoppage-time winner as unbeaten Middlesbrough went top of the Championship and ended West Bromwich Albion's recent resurgence.

Boro dominated the match from start to finish but had to wait until the 91st minute before Spanish centre-half Ayala eventually found a way through from close range.

Middlesbrough had squandered numerous opportunities prior to that, with Martin Braithwaite most guilty when he blazed high and wide from inside the six-yard box.

Ryan Shotton headed over and Stewart Downing's fierce strike forced Sam Johnstone into a smart save - but boss Tony Pulis was not to be denied a victory against his former employers.

Boro have now won four in a row after drawing their opening league game, responding superbly to the disappointment of losing in the play-off semi-finals in 2017-18.

They were rarely troubled by Darren Moore's side, who looked a long way short of reproducing the attacking flair displayed in their 4-3 win at Norwich and last week's 7-1 hammering of Queens Park Rangers.

The closest they came to scoring was when Aden Flint smashed an awkward attempted clearance against the underside of his own crossbar.

Despite enjoying 62% of the possession, the Baggies were at their most dangerous on the break - with Dwight Gayle wasting a two-on-one situation early in the second half.

West Brom, relegated from the Premier League last season, remain in seventh after two wins from their first five Championship matches.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis told BBC Tees:

"West Brom have a lot of quality players and I still think any team that finishes above them will get promoted.

"This league is really, really tough and every game you play you have to be at your maximum.

"We've turned up again tonight, realised it was going to be tough, worked hard and got the break at the end - which we deserved."

West Bromwich Albion head coach Darren Moore told BBC WM 95.6:

"It's a sickener to lose it in the final few minutes of the game. We just lost the flight of the ball in the air - I think if we contest it we come away with a clean sheet.

"You've got to give Middlesbrough credit, they changed their shape to combat us. They went with a defensive display and they'll probably feel they got it right in terms of nullifying us.

"It's a disappointing one to take because I thought during the 90 minutes we played the game right."



Formation 3-5-2

  • 23Randolph
  • 4AyalaBooked at 58mins
  • 24Flint
  • 20Fry
  • 5ShottonBooked at 72mins
  • 16Howson
  • 8Clayton
  • 19DowningSubstituted forBesicat 72'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 3Friend
  • 9AssombalongaSubstituted forHugillat 81'minutes
  • 10BraithwaiteSubstituted forMcNairat 86'minutes


  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 11Hugill
  • 17McNair
  • 18Fletcher
  • 26Wing
  • 37Besic

West Brom

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Johnstone
  • 24TosinBooked at 54minsSubstituted forDawsonat 69'minutes
  • 26Hegazi
  • 5Bartley
  • 10Phillips
  • 8Livermore
  • 11Brunt
  • 3Gibbs
  • 15BarnesSubstituted forMorrisonat 69'minutes
  • 19RodriguezBooked at 65mins
  • 16GayleSubstituted forRobson-Kanuat 83'minutes


  • 4Robson-Kanu
  • 7Morrison
  • 13Myhill
  • 17Burke
  • 18Barry
  • 25Dawson
  • 28Field
John Brooks

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamWest Brom
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Middlesbrough 1, West Bromwich Albion 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, West Bromwich Albion 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Chris Brunt following a set piece situation.

  4. Booking

    Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough).

  7. Goal!

    Goal! Middlesbrough 1, West Bromwich Albion 0. Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Muhamed Besic following a set piece situation.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion).

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Paddy McNair replaces Martin Braithwaite.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jay Rodriguez (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Phillips with a cross.

  15. Post update

    Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Aden Flint.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Dwight Gayle.

  17. Post update

    Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Jordan Hugill replaces Britt Assombalonga.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Dael Fry.

As It Stood

5Aston Villa42209638
7West Brom521213857
10Nottm Forest41305416
12Sheff Utd420257-26
13Bristol City41216515
17Sheff Wed411257-24
View full Championship table

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