Middlesbrough 1-0 Hull: Gaston Ramirez strike sees off lacklustre Hull
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 06/12/16 8:25am
Gaston Ramirez's header was enough for Middlesbrough to see off a lacklustre Hull side 1-0 in the Premier League on Monday Night Football.
The hosts dominated for much of the 90 minutes and could have scored more, but a header from the former Tigers man on the hour mark sealed a much-needed three points for Aitor Karanka's men.
Boro had a first-half goal from Viktor Fischer disallowed for offside, while Hull only pushed for an equaliser in the final 10 minutes but were unable to find the breakthrough.
Middlesbrough's second home win of the season sees them up to 13th - four points clear of the relegation zone - while Hull stay second from bottom.
The hosts had their first effort of the opening period in the eighth minute as Ramirez surged down the right flank, finding Marten de Roon at the top of the box. He took one touch to put the ball into the path of Alvaro Negredo - but the striker could only fire over the crossbar from six yards out.
Ramirez was again involved three minutes later as he fired a storming effort towards goal after a delightful back heel from Adam Forshaw, but Hull stopper David Marshall made a great leaping save to deny him before Sam Clucas shot over the crossbar at the other end in one of only a handful of first-half chances for the visitors.
Karanka: We deserved to win
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka says his side "deserved" their 1-0 Premier League victory
Marshall pushed away a Forshaw shot just after the 20-minute mark and then Middlesbrough thought they had made the much deserved breakthrough 13 minutes later.
Ramirez put another great ball into the box from the right, with Negredo getting above Ahmed Elmohamady at the back post to nod the ball into the path of Fischer. After a goalmouth scramble, he fired home past Jake Livermore but was flagged for offside and the goal was ruled out.
Phelan: We've got to do better
Hull manager Mike Phelan says his side have 'got to do better' after their 1-0 defeat
Negredo missed another great chance in the 39th minute as Forshaw played a lovely cross to him at the back post, but he somehow skewed his header wide before Middlesbrough's captain - who had little defending to do in the first half - made a fine tackle to stop the run of Adama Diomande in the box just before the break.
The second half picked up where the first had left off, with Middlesbrough continuing to see the majority of possession and chances as Hull rooted themselves into their own half but their defence was breached on the hour mark.
It came from a Middlesbrough corner that was delivered by Fischer, finding an unmarked Ramirez, who glanced the ball past Marshall and Andrew Robertson on the line to deservedly put the hosts ahead.
Negredo went close for the hosts in 76th minute as De Roon played a delightful ball from the left flank but the Spaniard skewed his header just wide. It was a similar story at the other end just a minute later as Clucas fired a header over the crossbar from a whistling Snodgrass corner.
Hull twice went close to stealing a draw in added time as Victor Valdes produced a fingertip save to deny Diomande with a superb curling effort. Seconds later, the Norwegian striker just missed a headed knockdown from Ahmed Elmohamady at the back post after another Snodgrass corner.
But it was too little, too late for the Tigers as they couldn't find a breakthrough and Middlesbrough deservedly kept all three points at the Riverside Stadium.
Middlesbrough: Valdes (7), Barragan (7), Chambers (7), Gibson (7), Fabio (8), Forshaw, (8) Clayton (7), de Roon (7), Ramirez (9), Negredo (7), Fischer (8).
Subs used: Stuani (6), Downing (n/a).
Hull: Marshall (6), Elmohamady (7), Davies (6), Dawson (7), Robertson (6), Snodgrass (6), Livermore (6), Clucas (5), Mason (4), Henriksen (5), Diomande (5).
Subs used: Meyler (4), Huddlestone (4), Bowen (4).
Man of the match: Gaston Ramirez.