Adam Clayton

Bournemouth 4-0 Middlesbrough: 10-man Boro look relegation-bound

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  • Boro goes down two goals
  • Then goes down a man
  • Pugh shines for Cherries

Gaston Ramirez took a pair of yellows — one for diving — and Middlesbrough conceded twice. That was just the first 20 minutes of what could prove to be the decisive match of Boro’s relegation fate.

Joshua King and Benik Afobe scored for the Cherries in the first 20 minutes, and Man of the Match candidate Marc Pugh added a goal and an assist. Charlie Daniels also netted for Bournemouth, which is seven points clear of the drop.

Boro is nine points back of Hull City with five to play.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It took Bournemouth less than 90 seconds to breach the Boro goal, as Marc Pugh took the final bit of good-looking passing on the left flank and cut the ball to the middle of the six for his 14th goal of the season.

Gaston Ramirez was shown a yellow card for diving in the box, a clear-cut and terrible embellishment made somewhat amusing by his demands for a trainer and a few minutes of delay in the game.

It was 2-0 just before the clock hit 16:00, as Boro’s Adam Clayton elected to take a touch of a back pass just outside the 18. Harry Arter poked that touch to Afobe, who beat Brad Guzan.

Pugh then dove after Ramirez’s foolish sliding challenge, and Boro was down to 10 men after 20 minutes.

Boro was hamstrung, but not out. Alvaro Negredo had stung a volley at Artur Boruc, and Marten De Roon forced the game’s first corner with a torrid shot near the half-hour mark.

Tricky work from Afobe cued Ryan Fraser up for a shot that missed the frame in the 52nd minute as Bournemouth buzzed toward a third goal.

Pugh then punished Boro with a 65th minute rip from the left that had Guzan flailing at air. Charlie Daniels added a fourth five minutes later.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Middlesbrough 0-0 Burnley: Not much brewing at Boro

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  • Burnley still winless on road
  • Boro takes step toward relegation
  • Clarets should’ve gone down a man

“Middlesbrough couldn’t finish its chances” could be the title of the Northeast club’s season anthology, as Boro played Burnley to a scoreless draw at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

The draw leaves Burnley 12th, eight points clear of the drop zone. Boro is six points back of 17th place Hull City with a match in hand.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The opening moments didn’t have a ton of danger, though Robbie Brady banged a Burnley free kick off the proverbial woodwork.

Daniel Ayala had a chance for Boro off a set piece later in the half, but didn’t get the purchase required to find an opener.

Adama Traore opened up Burnley’s defense with some fancy dribbling later in the half, but his pass to Adam Clayton merely resulted in a shot directly into the hands of Tom Heaton.

Burnley was very fortunate to not be down a man when Patrick Bamford was chopped down en route to goal, but Martin Atkinson didn’t see it that way. It was a yellow card and a free kick, one that was cleared off the line.

Soon after, it looked like Ayala had scored but Atkinson ruled that an injured and face down Joey Barton‘s presence in the middle of the box didn’t warrant the goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Middlesbrough 3-0 Swansea: Defending optional in another Swans loss

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  • Negredo scores twice
  • Boro up to 14th
  • Swans sink 19th

Alvaro Negredo scored twice before Marten De Roon made it academic, and Middlesbrough pounded Swansea City 3-0 for a crucial three points at the Riverside Stadium.

Swans remain in the drop zone, while Boro moves to 18 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Lukasz Fabianski was the first player to deal with danger, despite the fact that Swansea came out with better possession, passing, and tackling.

But Boro went ahead with its second chance of the day, a terrific strike from Negredo. Adam Clayton cut back and forward to shake his mark on the left wing, crossing behind Negredo. The big Spanish striker reached back to make a very difficult chance look gorgeous: 1-0 Boro.

Adam Forshaw then added to Swans misery, by cutting past Jordi Amat forcing the defender to chop him down in the box. Negredo could make it 2-0 with a penalty conversion, and wront-footed Fabianski to do just that.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

De Roon made it 3-0 in the 58th minute, darting onto the end of Gaston Ramirez’s left-footed cross.

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Southampton 1-0 Middlesbrough: Saints go 10th courtesy of Boufal strike

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Southampton moved up into the top of the Premier League on Sunday after picking up a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough at St. Mary’s Stadium.

[ MORE: Diego Costa provides 12th of season for Chelsea in victory over Baggies ]

Sofiane Boufal provided the hosts with the game’s lone finish on 53 minutes after taking a shot from outside the box and beating Victor Valdes. The finish was the 23-year-old’s first tally of the season for the Saints.

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Jay Rodriguez had a great chance to seal the match for the Saints with under 10 minutes remaining but the attacker’s header was cleared off the line brilliantly by Adam Clayton.

The visitors had a superb chance to take the lead after half hour played when Viktor Fischer rounded goalkeeper Fraser Forster and looked to pick out Cristhian Stuani, but the striker couldn’t find the back of the net in the 34th minute.

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup — Leicester shock Man City; Arsenal go top ]

Boro came out fast and were nearly rewarded in the fourth minute when Fischer tested Saints Forster, who was forced into a good save.

Aitor Karanka‘s side remains 16th in the PL through 15 matches, with the Boro currently just three points above the relegation zone.

Middlesborough 0-1 Chelsea: Costa strike sees off brave Boro

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Middlesbrough gave it a true go, but it wasn’t enough to get by the Premier League’s most in-form team.

Diego Costa struck just before halftime to become the first in the English top flight to a double-digit goal tally, and Chelsea clung to its lead under waves of pressure late as the Blues won their sixth straight match, keeping a clean sheet across all six.

The hosts looked dangerous on the break early. They charged forward on five minutes as Gaston Ramirez broke, but his ball into the middle for a wide-open Marten De Roon was behind him, and Alvaro Negredo eventually put the chance wide. Eden Hazard was felled hard by Adam Clayton minutes later, earning the latter the game’s first booking.

The game devolved into a foul-fest until the 28th minute when Chelsea had its first real chance. A ball over the back line fell to Victor Moses, who cut in from the right edge of the box. Moses cut back for Pedro waiting all alone in the middle of the box, and while the former Barcelona man will wish he put the finish further into the corner, his attempt to roof the ball was tipped superbly over the bar by the fingertips of his former teammate Victor Valdes.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Negredo had a headed chance on 35 minutes, but he was put off by Ramirez who came flying in wanting to take the chance too, and it was sent wide. Chelsea then found the opener minutes from the break, as a Hazard corner fell into a crowd in the box, and Costa was the man quickest to the chance.

Halftime came without any more momentous occasions, but the goal had clearly put Chelsea on top of things at Riverside Stadium. The Blues had a chance just seconds out of the break, as a spin from Hazard sprung Marco Alonso. His sliding effort was saved by Valdes, and the rebound was sent over the bar by Calum Chambers who beat Pedro to the ball.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Things were quiet before the hour mark, until Chelsea again began to pour forward. Costa threated Moses through brilliantly, but the Nigerian failed to score as Valdes closed him out. Costa picked out another teammate on 68 minutes as Pedro had Valdes beaten, but slammed the bar trying to place a shot into the corner.

Adama Traore was incisive for Middlesbrough, but he struggled to actually produce signifncant chances despite his ability to weave through players in midfield. Eventually, the hosts did have another chance to level things up. Traore left defenders in his wake before finding Negredo, who let it bounce before whacking a vicious volley that was well saved by Thibaut Courtois.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Both teams had an attacking intent as the game wound down, with Middlesbrough truly going for a goal. Chelsea brought on Branislav Ivanovic to deal with the pressure from the home side, while Boro brought on Stewart Downing and Viktor Fischer. The subs wouldn’t change the flow of the game, as Chelsea hung on through four minutes of added time for the win.

The three points moves Chelsea top of the table, a place they deserve on their current run. Middlesbrough, meanwhile, gets nothing from its spirited effort, leaving Boro with 11 points in 15th place.