Middlesbrough 0 Blackburn Rovers 1

Last updated : 23 September 2006 By Footymad Previewer
These are worrying times for Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate as the rookie boss saw his side lose at home for the second time in a week.

Middlesbrough hoped to bounce back from the Carling Cup defeat by Notts County but once again they failed to put the ball in the net.

Blackburn deserved their success without ever looking as though they were in top gear. The Lancashire side were compact and better organised against a home team that lacked impact in attack.

Middlesbrough's Jonathan Woodgate was given a standing ovation on his home debut after joining the club on loan from Real Madrid.

It did not take Blackburn long to get into their stride and they were the more threatening in the early stages. Middlesbrough, despite struggling to score goals, operated with only lone striker Yakubu in attack

Blackburn's Tugay was the first player to be shown the yellow card when he foolishly kicked the ball away.

The visitors went ahead after 27 minutes. David Bentley provided a right wing cross that sailed over Woodgate's head for Shabani Nonda to rise unchallenged at the far post and head into the roof of the net from close range. It was a blow to Middlesbrough but no-one could argue that Blackburn deserved the league.

Jason Euell had a chance to become an instant hero to Middlesbrough fans following his move from Charlton Athletic but he wasted a glorious equalising chance. Put clean through by Fabio Rochemback, Euell shot wide of goal with only Brad Friedel to beat. Disappointment for the home fans but relief for the visitors.

Benni McCarthy shot wide for Blackburn and shortly after Mark Schwarzer in the home goal saved with his legs a shot from Lucas Neil.

Middlesbrough struggled for a breakthrough, they had been overrun in midfield and Yakubu was struggling to make an impact with limited service. After a disappointing performance boro were booe'd as they walked off for the interval.

In a bid to put more punch in attack Southgate sent on Australian international Mark Viduka for the second half. Southgate switched to 4-4-2 in a bit to put more threat in attack as Middlesbrough had shown a patent lack of firepower in the first half.

Viduka headed wide from a Rochemback corner out on the right. Shortly after Yakubu shot inches wide and then Viduka blasted wide of the target.

Middlesbrough sent on winger Adam Johnson in a bid to save the game but the nearest a goal came to was at the other end. Only a brilliant diving Schwarzer save prevented Brett Emerton increasing the lead.

Tenacious midfielder player Robbie Savage shot well over the bar for Blackburn, while Euell was off target in injury time for Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough must find a goalscorer if they are to climb the table. They have only five goals from six Premier League games to their credit - and no player has scored more than one.

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes will have been happy with three points but the former Welsh international will know his side will face tougher games on their travels.