Boro strive for balance to stay afloat in Premier League

Posted April 07, 2017

Hull gave its Premier League survival hopes a lift and pushed Middlesbrough closer to the drop with a 4-2 victory in a pulsating game between two relegation-threatened teams on Wednesday.

Their supporters chanted "City are staying up", and although safety is not certain, it felt like a defining moment at the foot of the Premier League, more so in the case of Agnew's team, ...

The hosts fought back though and goals by Lazar Markovic, Oumar Niasse and Abel Hernandez put them 3-1 ahead after 33 minutes, although Marten de Roon did pull a goal back for the visitors before half-time.

The Tigers, however, have now won five of their last six league games at the KCOM Stadium and head coach Marco Silva's unbeaten home league run as a manager has been extended to 40 matches. "That's 'can we score a goal?' but also know clean sheets can help us win games".

Maguire's diagonal ball was crossed first time by Grosicki from the right and with Valdes stranded, Hernandez steered home his fourth league goal of the season.

Hernandez set up Senegalese global Oumar Niasse before scoring himself with Serbian worldwide Lazar Markovic also getting on the scoresheet and Harry Maguire adding a fourth in the second-half.

Adama Traore was given too much space to work his way into the penalty area and when he dragged a low ball across the face of goal, Alvaro Negredo was there to finish at the far post.

Gibson failed to clear the danger and Hernandez teed up Niasse, who is on loan from Everton, to shoot home in the 27th minute.

Hull now sit on 30 points having played 31 matches and captain Dawson is confident they can go on to retain their top-flight status. Hull midfielder N'Diaye's angled drive was saved at full stretch by Valdes, but such were their exertions in the first periods, players on both sides were already looking exhausted.

Boro, who have taken one point from three games since sacking Aitor Karanka last month, were backed by 2,500 travelling fans at the KCOM, where Agnew spent over two years as assistant boss to Steve Bruce.

But Jakupovic did nothing as De Roon gave Boro a lifeline in first-half stoppage time, the goalkeeper appealing for a flag that never came as the Dutchman bundled home from Gibson's header from an offside position, referee Michael Oliver still awarding the goal even after a discussion with his linesman.