MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough2PrestonPreston North End0

Middlesbrough 2-0 Preston North End: Alan Browne and manager Alex Neil shown red in Lilywhites loss

Marcus Tavernier celebrates Middlesbrough's second goal against Preston
Marcus Tavernier (left) headed in early in the second half to double Middlesbrough's lead

Middlesbrough cruised past Preston, who had midfielder Alan Browne and manager Alex Neil sent off in a chaotic match at the Riverside in the Championship.

In a torrid first half for the visitors, Preston defender Jordan Storey sliced Yannick Bolasie's cross into his own net before skipper Browne was sent off for an off-the-ball clash with Sam Morsy on the halfway line.

North End manager Neil had a lengthy verbal exchange with referee Oliver Langford after the half-time whistle before being sent to the stands by the official.

Against 10 men, Middlesbrough repeatedly cut through the visitors' defence, with Marcus Tavernier doubling the lead in the 51st minute, but they were unable to make the victory even more convincing.

Preston were hoping to do a league double over Middlesbrough for the first time since 1972, and the fixture could have been so different had centre-back Sepp van den Berg seen his shot hit the back of the net instead of cannoning off the crossbar in the 20th minute.

Two minutes later Storey diverted the ball into his own goal under little pressure.

Preston manager Alex Neil shouts from the stands after his sending off
Alex Neil continued to shout instructions from the stands after his sending off at half-time

Browne and Morsy came together in the 36th minute, with Morsy going to ground after Browne appeared to have raised his arm towards the Middlesbrough midfielder's face.

And Langford's decision to show Browne a straight red card was not without controversy, with Preston boss Neil also sent to the stands after a lengthy argument with the officials at the break.

Tavernier replaced Morsy at half-time and doubled Boro's advantage, heading in a rebound after Chuba Akpom had hit the underside of the bar.

Neil Warnock's side cantered to their win in the closing stages, moving up to eighth in the table, five points off a play-off place, while Preston fell to 16th.

Preston manager Alex Neil told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"The referee stopped us potentially getting three points tonight. We've done really well, I think that's the first time I've ever lost against a Neil Warnock team. So that's really frustrating for me because we're tailor-made to play against these types of teams.

"We've started really well and he's denied us three points that are really crucial for us.

"It's hard to accept and understand how the referee can see Alan [Browne's] part and not Sam Morsy's part which has basically changed the game in their favour. When their player's being the aggressor, and our player reacted off the back of their aggression.

"The fact that we got a red and they got nothing just beggars belief really."

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock told BBC Tees:

"I said to my players before the game, it's not how we play tonight, it's [about] coming away with three points.

"Once they went down to ten men it's difficult to create. It's a difficult thing to win against ten men in football.

"You won't believe me, but I haven't seen it yet. And to be honest I'm not that bothered. The referee was in a good position, you've got to take it that he saw enough to give him a red card."



Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Bettinelli
  • 20FisherBooked at 66mins
  • 6Fry
  • 4Hall
  • 27Bola
  • 17McNairSubstituted forSavilleat 58'minutes
  • 16Howson
  • 5MorsySubstituted forTavernierat 45'minutes
  • 14BolasieSubstituted forJohnsonat 62'minutes
  • 10AkpomSubstituted forFletcherat 63'minutes
  • 21KebanoSubstituted forMendez-Laingat 83'minutes


  • 3Johnson
  • 7Tavernier
  • 11Fletcher
  • 13Archer
  • 18Watmore
  • 19Mendez-Laing
  • 22Saville
  • 29Spence
  • 33Coulson


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 22Iversen
  • 2van den Berg
  • 14Storey
  • 6LindsaySubstituted forRaffertyat 78'minutes
  • 16Hughes
  • 8BrowneBooked at 36mins
  • 12GallagherSubstituted forJohnsonat 55'minutes
  • 29BarkhuizenSubstituted forRiis Jakobsenat 55'minutes
  • 44PottsBooked at 62mins
  • 31SinclairSubstituted forMolumbyat 45'minutes
  • 26EvansSubstituted forWhitemanat 68'minutes


  • 11Johnson
  • 15Rafferty
  • 17Whiteman
  • 19Riis Jakobsen
  • 21Molumby
  • 23Huntington
  • 24Maguire
  • 25Ripley
  • 42Gordon
Oliver Langford

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamPreston
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Middlesbrough 2, Preston North End 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 2, Preston North End 0.

  3. Post update

    Marc Bola (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Sepp van den Berg (Preston North End).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough).

  6. Post update

    Andrew Hughes (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

    Foul by Sepp van den Berg (Preston North End).

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jordan Storey (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Joseph Rafferty with a cross.

  10. Post update

    Hand ball by Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing replaces Neeskens Kebano.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by George Saville.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Preston North End. Joseph Rafferty replaces Liam Lindsay.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough).

  15. Post update

    Liam Lindsay (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Neeskens Kebano (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right following a corner.

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jordan Storey.

  19. Post update

    Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Jayson Molumby (Preston North End).

As It Stood

12Bristol City36153183948-948
17Nottm Forest361011152935-641
23Sheff Wed3597192545-2028
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