Reading 0-1 Middlesbrough: Friend’s goal gives Boro a much-needed win
Middlesbrough went to 4th place in the Championship table after a narrow late 1-0 win against Reading at the Madejski stadium. Defender George Friend scored in the 77th minute to seal the win for Tony Pulis’ men.
It was not a very convincing performance from the away team, who hadn’t won any of their last four games. They struggled to create many openings against a side that was low on confidence. However, Jonny Howson combined well with Paddy McNair. The latter then teed up Friend, who slammed the ball home to give his team a pressure-relieving win.
This late goal was rather harsh on the home team, who gave a good account of themselves in a quiet game. Boro goalkeeper Darren Randolph first denied Sam Baldock with an outstanding outstretched leg. He then pushed an Omar Richards shot around the post to keep his sheet clean on the day.
Middlesbrough have been dedensively terrific all season, but were a bit circumspect in the last few games. But the defensive resilience was on display against Reading. Aden Flint made a terrific block to deny Leandro Bacuna a shot on goal. Shortly after that, the away side went and scored the only decisive goal of the game.
This result means that Boro climbed two places up to fourth spot on the table with 39 points, six behind the automatic promotion places. Reading on the other hand, stay at 21st place in the standings with 19 points, outside the danger zone due to a better goal difference.
Here’s how the Middlesbrough fans reacted on the social media after a grinding win:
Some people are never happy are they. Lose and we’re shit, win and we’re lucky and ‘got away with it’. Irrespective of what you think of the manager just get behind the bloody players. UTB
— Karl Watson (@karlbenwatson) December 22, 2018
Great 3pts, back upto 4th in the table. But don’t let this disguise the fact we are playing shocking football, and today was the same, another very poor performance. Come up against any team in the top 8 and we will get battered.
— Glenn Colin Melvin (@glenncm2812) December 22, 2018
Prolonging the inevitable, sack him now before he inflicts long term damage on our team #PulisOut
— Ben (@TrueSmoggy) December 22, 2018
In Tony we Trust – tonight anyway. Have a great Christmas pal.
— Simon Close (@Closey25) December 22, 2018
we got the 3pts which is the main thing, I just don’t understand how you can’t be happy you’ve wanted a win and you’ve got one! No matter who the manager just get behind the team and we’ll do fine UTB!🔴⚪️
— faye simpson (@faye47268034) December 22, 2018