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Middlesbrough vs Derby County. Sky Bet Championship.

Riverside Stadium.

Middlesbrough 3

  • B Assombalonga (33rd minute)
  • M Clarke (71st minute own goal)
  • M Johnson (83rd minute)

Derby County 0

    Middlesbrough 3-0 Derby County: Boro heap more misery on Wayne Rooney's Rams

    Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash between Middlesbrough and Derby County at the Riverside Stadium as Boro record a resounding win thanks to Britt Assombalonga, a Matt Clarke own goal and Marvin Johnson.

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    Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Derby.

    Middlesbrough piled more misery onto struggling Derby as they racked up their biggest victory under Neil Warnock with a 3-0 win at the Riverside Stadium.

    Britt Assombalonga's first-half strike fired the Teessiders into the lead, before a second-half own goal from Matthew Clarke and a curled finish from Marvin Johnson enabled them to bounce back from a weekend defeat to Norwich.

    Middlesbrough climbed to seventh in the Sky Bet Championship, while Derby remain rooted to the bottom as their problems intensify.

    Wayne Rooney might want a permanent managerial position but, on this evidence, he will have quite a task on his hands if he is offered the role.

    Image: Middlesbrough beat Derby 3-0 on Wednesday night

    Warnock handed a Boro debut to Duncan Watmore, who was signed as a free agent earlier this month following his summer departure from Sunderland, and the hosts began brightly, carving out a good opportunity inside the opening five minutes.

    Marcus Tavernier released Patrick Roberts down the right, he squared the ball to Assombalonga, and Derby goalkeeper David Marshall got down well to turn the Middlesbrough skipper's low effort around the post.

    The Rams started the game at the foot of the table, but they gradually began to get to grips with their opponents and manufactured a couple of first-half chances.

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    Rooney, part of Derby's interim management team that was appointed in the wake of Phillip Cocu's dismissal, saw a first-half effort blocked by Dael Fry, before Tom Lawrence created a pocket of space on the edge of the 18-yard box, only to then to scuff a poor shot straight through to Marcus Bettinelli in the Middlesbrough goal.

    Nathan Byrne curled a decent effort wide of the post on the half-hour mark, but Derby's leaky defence has been their downfall all season, and they were conceding again three minutes later as Boro claimed the lead.

    Jonny Howson's cross flicked off the head of Andre Wisdom, enabling Watmore to nod the ball back across the area. Assombalonga reacted quickest, and muscled ahead of Clarke to bundle home from close to the goalline.

    It was Assombalonga's second goal of the season, and a third almost arrived a couple of minutes later. Roberts' free-kick from the left was not cleared, but after swooping on the loose ball, Assombalonga dragged a low shot just past the right-hand post.

    Derby's management team threw on Louie Sibley for Martyn Waghorn at half-time, and the substitute almost made an instant impact.

    Just 45 seconds of the second half had gone when he found himself in space in the left of the area, but his low strike flew wide of the upright.

    Sibley threatened again shortly after the hour mark, firing in a well-struck shot from 20 yards that Bettinelli did well to parry down to his left.

    That was as good as things got for the visitors, with Middlesbrough doubling their lead to make the game safe in the 71st minute.

    They went close 60 seconds earlier when Marshall produced a fine save to deny George Saville, but the Derby goalkeeper could do nothing when centre-half Clarke diverted Johnson's low cross into his own net.

    Boro added a third goal with seven minutes left, with Johnson breaking down the right before stepping inside to curl an excellent finish into the left-hand corner.

    What the managers said...

    Middlesbrough's Neil Warnock: "It's a hard league this league, and you've got to get goals. You've got to look at how you can get more goals, and I felt the only way we could get more goals was by being a bit more positive in the wide positions. Even when we changed it and had two full-backs again (after the substitutions), they were still more positive.

    "It's not a natural thing for a wing-back to makes runs inside and support a striker, whereas Duncan does it automatically. You've got to have something like that in games. It allows us to have different options instead of just being rigid."

    Derby's Liam Rosenior: "It was painful, chastening, but what I would say is that they are a good set of lads. They are not bad people or untrustworthy, but we've got a young squad and we've got to learn quickly what it takes to win games in the Championship.

    "You need to be competitive and win headers and second balls, but I feel there's a real lack of confidence at the moment. I think that has to be a watershed moment - not just for the season, but for the football club. I didn't see this performance coming, that's the most painful thing."

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