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Bristol City vs Middlesbrough. Sky Bet Championship.

Ashton GateAttendance18,752.

Bristol City 2

  • J Bryan (51st minute)
  • J Paterson (54th minute)

Middlesbrough 1

  • H Magnusson (75th minute own goal)

Bristol City 2-1 Middlesbrough: Lee Johnson's men continue rise to the Championship top three

Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Middlesbrough.

Bristol City maintained their push for the Sky Bet Championship play-offs with a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough on Saturday evening.

Both sides approached the game in a similar fashion and despite a cagey first half that the Robins arguably had the better of, it was they who drew first blood when an unmarked Joe Bryan headed home Bailey Wright's cross (51).

Three minutes later City doubled their lead when Jamie Paterson tucked Aden Flint's cross through the legs of Darren Randolph (54), but Boro managed to find a way back through Hordur Magnusson's own-goal (75).

Team news

Lee Johnson made two changes for the visit of Middlesbrough as Callum O'Dowda and Cauley Woodrow sat out, with Jamie Paterson and Joe Bryan taking up the vacant berths.

Garry Monk made three changes from the side that lost 3-0 to Derby last weekend. Dael Fry, Jonny Howson and Adama Traore replaced Adam Clayton, Marvin Johnson and the suspended Daniel Ayala.

However, It wasn't enough for Garry Monk's side as they dropped to ninth, while the hosts are up to third, six points behind Cardiff in second.

The first half was relatively even with little to separate the sides, but putting their ability to rapidly counter on display, it was Lee Johnson's men who were arguably the more entertaining.

Chasing plenty of long balls aimed in his direction, Bobby Reid was a livewire in attack, though the Robins best chance of the half fell to Marlon Pack, though his first-time effort was side-footed off the line by Britt Assombalonga.

Player ratings

Bristol City: Fielding (6), Wright (7), Flint (7), Baker (6), Magnusson (6), Brownhill (7), Smith (7), Pack (7), Bryan (7), Paterson (7), Reid (8).

Subs: Djuric (4), Eliasson (5), Leko (N/A)

Middlesbrough: Randolph (6), Christie (5), Fry (6), Gibson (6), Fabio (6), Howson (6), Forshaw (7), Traore (6), Downing (5), Braithwaite (6), Assombalonga (5)

Subs: Gestede (5), Johnson (5), Bamford (4)

Man of the match: Bobby Reid

Fabio also went close for the visitors in the final minute of the first half when he lashed a powerful drive at Frank Fielding but after the break, it was his opposite number who found himself beaten.

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A speedy City attack made its way to Bailey Wright on the right-hand side and after some excellent build-up from Pack and Paterson, Wright crossed to the far post for Bryan to nod down and over the line.

Bobby Reid
Image: Bobby Reid was given the Man-of-the-Match award for his performance

Inside 180 seconds, they had a second. A Middlesbrough free-kick was cleared and in just a few slick passes the Robins, another Bristol City defender - this time Aden Flint - crossed for Paterson to steer home from 10 yards.

The visitors did manage to pull one back when an unfortunate Magnusson headed Adam Forshaw's floated pass past Frank Fielding, but it was too little too late for a disappointing Boro.

Man of the match - Bobby Reid

Reid has been a relevation since coming forward from midfield to lead the attack at Ashton Gate this season and showed just why this evening. The 24 year-old couldn't add to his 11-goal haul but was a constant issue for the Boro backline to deal with, before walking off to a standing ovation when substituted in the 89th-minute.

The managers

Bristol City boss Lee Johnson gives his reaction to Sky Sports following the 2-1 win over Middlesbrough.

Lee Johnson: "It is still early days as far as league positions are concerned, but I'm delighted to be third and eight points clear of a very good side in Middlesbrough. Had we lost, they would have been right on our heels and, with a very good manager in Garry Monk, I expect them to kick on from here.

"We scored two great goals. Aden Flint tells me he wants to change numbers from four to seven because he thinks he's a winger after his cross for the second. There is a long way to go but I couldn't be happier with the spirit in the squad."

Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk gives his reaction to Sky Sports after the 2-1 defeat to Bristol City.

Garry Monk: "Our supporters have spent a lot of hard-earned cash to travel a long way and they deserved better. I can only apologise to them because that was unacceptable.

"I know we have good players and I expected a lot more of them tonight. For 70 minutes we were not good enough and to show a reaction when you are 2-0 down is all too easy. We began to do the things we should have been doing from the start. That isn't acceptable and it hurts. I take responsibility.

"There were a lot of strong discussions this week after we let ourselves down in the second half against Derby (a 3-0 loss) and I expected a reaction."

What's next?

Bristol City are in televised action once again next Friday evening as they travel to Bramall Lane to take on Sheffield United, live on Sky Sports Football, while Middlesbrough host Ipswich Town on Saturday afternoon.

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