Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Middlesbrough were never really in the game

The dominance of AFCB in the top of the table clash with Middlesbrough was quite surprising to me. The possession stats indicate that AFCB sat off a little in the second half once they had certainly got the third goal and looked to hit Boro on the break, but the early first half possession was quite something. The shot count is really what shows you how good AFCB were on the day with 17 attempts and seven on target compared to Boro's three attempts, none of which gave Artur Boruc anything to do.
It could have been more.
I had hinted a few days before the game that it might be a hurdle too high for Boro having come through tough games already against Ipswich and Derby. It turned out to be that way and Aitor Karanka was not surprisingly asked after the game how come you never really got started in this game? They were really blown away in the first half even though the score at half time was only 1-0. The first five minutes of the second half were the killer blow though and there was nowhere for Boro to go once they were 2-0 down.

Middlesbrough's passing was often sideways and backwards which was down to a lot of the pressing that AFCB's unsung hero Andrew Surman was doing in midfield. He won and retained possession exceedingly well and by bringing other AFCB players into the game quickly with fast little passes he keeps the side going forward and on the front foot which is so important in such games.
Boro players were well beaten after 90 minutes at Dean Court.
As Middlesbrough did not get to grips with the ball in midfield they found themselves constantly stretched at the back with Callum Wilson running into the corners and down the sides of the centre backs. It was only going to end one way in the end unless Konstantopoulos was going to have a magical day in between the sticks. 

Players leave the pitch at the end of the Middlesbrough 
game to the tune of the reds are going up!

It was reported yesterday by the club that SKY coverage means the movement of the final home fixture of the season against Bolton to Monday 21st April at 7.45pm, which is not very convenient for exiles like myself and many others who will find Monday nights a problem, but it is a sign of the Cherries continued success.

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