The REAL Stewart Downing Stood Up!

Last updated : 26 February 2009 By Boro Mad

The England international curled home a brilliant fifth-minute free-kick to set up the perfect start, and it shook West Ham 'early doors' and they never fully recovered.

Tuncay Sanli's 20th-minute volley gave Gareth Southgate some welcome relief from the Premiership struggle, and both the Turkey striker and Jeremie Aliadiere, had chances to kill off the Hammers long before the final whistle.

Scott Parker passed up the chance of the game when he shot inches wide on the hour, but that was the only time the Boro defence seemed in trouble.

Having been denied victory at the first attempt by Herita Ilunga's equaliser at Upton Park, Boro were not about to succumb a second time and ultimately ran out comfortable winners in front of a crowd of 15,602 to book a trip to Everton in the last eight.

Gareth Southgate hailed England winger Stewart Downing's performance.

Southgate: "That's why we wanted to keep our best players. Goals like that win matches, simple.

"He has got the quality to do that. He has scored two in three games now, and seeing himself do something like that proves to himself the quality he has got.

"The goal was top-drawer. (West Ham boss) Gianfranco (Zola) was just saying, you can set your team up for anything, but when somebody does that, it rocks everybody on their heels."