|Middlesbrough 2 v 0 Preston North End|
Tuesday, 16th March 2021 Kick-off 19:00
Player ratings: Kebano shines as Middlesbrough pip Preston
Wednesday, 17th Mar 2021 08:48 by Matthew Hunter
Middlesbrough put themselves within five points of the play-off places with a 2-0 victory over Preston North End.
It was a comfortable display that saw Neil Warnock's side dominate throughout while also getting their rub of the green with the officials.
Here we have a look at Middlesbrough’s player ratings.
Marcus Bettinelli –6 Read a first half through-ball well to prevent goalscoring chance. Strong save to deny a goal before the break but quiet second half.
Darnell Fisher - 7 Won a few defensive headers early on and looked determined to prove himself against former team. Preston were keen to let him know they were there.
Grant Hall–8 Strong and assertive in the air, as always. Real stalwart in defence and tackled well when needed. Done more ball playing than usual - learnt from paddy de bruyne, probably. Not much to do second half though.
Dael Fry–8 Played safe and sound when a calm head needed. Shown leadership and good communication with his teammates. Boro’s trusty steel at the back.
Paddy McNair –6 Struggled to put his mark on game first 30 but eased into second half. Missed golden chance to make it 2-0 but redeemed with break into box, resulting in second goal. Took off injured unfortunately for us.
Jonny Howson –7 Cleared well and controlled game in centre. Swept up numerous loose balls all night. A slick performance for the slick-haired Englishman.
Marc Bola –6 Linked up well on the flanks. Neat flick to send Tavernier on his way but unusually quiet night for him.
Sam Morsy –6 Good passing in the middle. Bit of give and take resulted in Preston red - clearly knows how to wind opposition up. Substituted at half time.
Neeskens Kebano-8 Shown quick feet to get away from opposition on a few occasions. Surprisingly strong for a little man and almost scored if it wasn’t for a great save. Had awkward another chance to put the game to bed but sliced it wide. My MOTM tonight.
Yannick Bolasie–7 Shown good strength even in challenges. His cross got the goal, always looking to attack and we’ve needed that. Looks a real defenders nightmare and a class above.
Chuba Akpom - 6 Won a few headers but accuracy lacking. Looked stronger in the air and held up better today.
Marcus Tavernier - 7 Subbed on at the break and made great cutting pass early on. Calmly slotted header home to make 2-0 - a chance many players would of snatched at. Offered more attacking threat and won some niggly fouls in opposition half.
George Saville - 6 Kept the possession well in midfield.
Ashley Fletcher-5 Almost had a goal scoring chance if not for the refs whistle. Looked frustrated in lack of ball and gave away a few cheap free kicks.
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing-N/A Involved immediately, almost worked a chance moments after coming on but not enough to warrant a rating.
Marvin Johnson-7 Good energy to get forward and unfortunately lashed a chance over the bar. Had a sumptuous early cross nearly deflected for another own goal too. His crosses always threatened.
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