Championship
Middlesbrough1Blackburn1

Championship: Middlesbrough 1-1 Blackburn Rovers

Charlie Mulgrew lines up the free-kick which puts Blackburn in front
Charlie Mulgrew lines up the free-kick which puts Blackburn in front

Ten-man Middlesbrough fought back from a goal down to draw with Blackburn Rovers and avoid slipping to back-to-back defeats for the first time since December 2017.

The point leaves Boro sixth but they lose ground on the top four of Norwich, Leeds, Sheffield United and Derby who all won, while Blackburn are only six points behind the top six in 11th.

Rovers - managed by Teessiders legend Tony Mowbray - were the better side in the first-half, helped by the dismissal of Boro's Bosnian midfielder Mo Besic, and led when Charlie Mulgrew curled a superb free-kick past Darren Randolph.

Mowbray's opposite number Tony Pulis responded by making two half-time substitutions, introducing George Saville to shore up midfield and striker Britt Assombalonga to add some punch up front, and it paid off.

Jordan Hugill, denied by Mulgrew's well-timed challenge just minutes before, laid off to Assombalonga and the DR Congo international bent in a sparkling effort to level.

Buoyed by the goal, Boro poured forward but were unable to find a way past David Raya, and the points were shared.

Boro's strength this season so far has been their home form and their defensive record, but the pressure created by Besic's sending-off, for hauling back Rovers dangerman Bradley Dack, saw them struggle to impose themselves.

Dack was unlucky not to add to the scoring when his shot smacked a post, but Boro eventually wrestled control of the game as the Riverside crowd found its voice and it took some spirited defending from the visitors - in the mould of their manager - to keep the home side at bay.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis:

"The referee doesn't send him off - it's the fourth official and the linesman on our side. I'll say it now - Besic does pull his shirt.

"But I believe our goalkeeper was getting to the ball first before their lad. I think it's a yellow card, not a sending off.

"How they make that decision from that distance and a decision that ultimately changed the game is beyond me."

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray:

"It's a very frustrated dressing room. We shouldn't have dropped points, playing against 10 men and having scored from a free-kick.

"Ultimately we needed the second goal, and it didn't come. I think if there's one team in this league you don't want to play against with 10 men, it's probably Middlesbrough with how good they are behind the ball.

"They're so defensively stable and solid, and they did what they had to do. I thought we created some chances, Bradley Dack hit the post and we had a few shots."

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

  • 23Randolph
  • 5ShottonBooked at 13mins
  • 4Ayala
  • 24Flint
  • 3FriendBooked at 43mins
  • 37BesicBooked at 21mins
  • 8ClaytonSubstituted forSavilleat 45'minutes
  • 16Howson
  • 19DowningSubstituted forAssombalongaat 45'minutes
  • 11Hugill
  • 18FletcherSubstituted forWingat 32'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Batth
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 17McNair
  • 22Saville
  • 26Wing
  • 28Tavernier
  • 31Lonergan

Blackburn

  • 1Raya
  • 2Nyambe
  • 25Downing
  • 14Mulgrew
  • 3WilliamsBooked at 18mins
  • 29Evans
  • 6SmallwoodSubstituted forRothwellat 75'minutes
  • 4ReedSubstituted forBreretonat 85'minutes
  • 23DackBooked at 55mins
  • 32ConwaySubstituted forArmstrongat 70'minutes
  • 10Graham

Substitutes

  • 7Armstrong
  • 8Rothwell
  • 13Leutwiler
  • 17Bell
  • 19Brereton
  • 26Lenihan
  • 45Palmer
Referee:
Simon Hooper
Attendance:
21,985

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamBlackburn
Possession
Home34%
Away66%
Shots
Home12
Away15
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away8
Fouls
Home14
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Middlesbrough 1, Blackburn Rovers 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Blackburn Rovers 1.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by George Saville.

Attempt blocked. Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Corry Evans.

Hand ball by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

Offside, Middlesbrough. Jordan Hugill tries a through ball, but Britt Assombalonga is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Lewis Wing.

Attempt blocked. Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Paul Downing (Blackburn Rovers) header from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Joe Rothwell with a cross following a corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Ben Brereton replaces Harrison Reed.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Daniel Ayala.

Foul by Harrison Reed (Blackburn Rovers).

Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Middlesbrough. Lewis Wing tries a through ball, but Britt Assombalonga is caught offside.

Foul by Charlie Mulgrew (Blackburn Rovers).

Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Hugill.

Attempt saved. Harrison Reed (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Bradley Dack.

Foul by Adam Armstrong (Blackburn Rovers).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Joe Rothwell replaces Richard Smallwood.

Foul by Adam Armstrong (Blackburn Rovers).

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

Foul by Adam Armstrong (Blackburn Rovers).

Ryan Shotton (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Ryan Shotton.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by George Friend.

Attempt blocked. Adam Armstrong (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Corry Evans.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Adam Armstrong replaces Craig Conway.

Offside, Middlesbrough. Jordan Hugill tries a through ball, but Britt Assombalonga is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Goal!

Goal! Middlesbrough 1, Blackburn Rovers 1. Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Jordan Hugill.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by George Saville.

Attempt blocked. Danny Graham (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Harrison Reed.

Attempt blocked. Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by George Saville with a through ball.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Corry Evans.

Booking

Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Attempt saved. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Derrick Williams.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich21134438241443
2Leeds21126335181742
3Sheff Utd21114634241037
4Derby2111463124737
5West Brom21106544301436
6Middlesbrough219932314936
7Nottm Forest21810332221034
8Aston Villa218854132932
9Birmingham217953025530
10Stoke217952725230
11Blackburn217952731-430
12Swansea218582523229
13Bristol City218582524129
14QPR218492531-628
15Preston216783235-325
16Wigan2174102329-625
17Sheff Wed216692738-1124
18Brentford215793332122
19Hull2156102130-921
20Rotherham214982132-1121
21Millwall2147102635-919
22Reading2146112634-818
23Bolton2146111529-1418
24Ipswich2118121737-2011
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