Ne­gredo lifts goal-shy Mid­dles­brough past Swans

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

MID­DLES­BROUGH: Al­varo Ne­gredo scored a brace as goal-shy Mid­dles­brough got back to win­ning ways be­fore Christ­mas with a 3-0 suc­cess which sent Swansea deeper into the rel­e­ga­tion zone yes­ter­day.

The Span­ish in­ter­na­tional had net­ted just three times for the Premier League strug­glers, fail­ing to score in 13 of his pre­vi­ous 15 ap­pear­ances, since his sum­mer sign­ing.

But the 31-year-old for­ward was on target af­ter 18 min­utes at the River­side off an Adam Clay­ton cross and 11 min­utes later con­verted Boro’s first penalty of the sea­son af­ter Jordi Amat tripped up Adam For­shaw in the box.

Dutch mid­fielder Marten de Roon added a third on 58 min­utes off a pin-point Gas­ton Ramirez cross as Boro ral­lied to just their fourth win since pro­mo­tion from the Cham­pi­onship. Mid­dles­brough moved above cham­pi­ons Le­ices­ter to 14th place as Swansea dropped to sec­ond-bot­tom. The de­feat piles more pres­sure on the Welsh out­fit who headed north with­out Fed­erico Fer­nan­dez and Ki Sung-yueng, who were both re­cov­er­ing from toe in­juries.

Bob Bradley’s side had got­ten off to a bright enough start with Modou Bar­row hav­ing a cross cut out by Ben Gib­son and a Gylfi Sig­urds­son shot kept out by Boro keeper Vic­tor Valdes.

Ne­gredo had his first chance in the 10th minute but his ef­fort was cleared by Swans goal­keeper Lukasz Fabi­an­ski.

Dan­ish mid­fielder Vik­tor Fis­cher hob­bled off for the hosts with a knee prob­lem early but Ne­gredo grabbed the opener when he fin­ished off a Clay­ton cross with Ramirez al­most grab­bing a sec­ond min­utes later from a free-kick af­ter be­ing fouled by An­gel Ran­gel. Boro dou­bled their ac­count be­fore the half-hour mark when Amat tripped For­shaw in the box. Ne­gredo made no mis­take to en­sure the home side ended the first pe­riod well in con­trol.

De­spite the odds stacked against them Swansea con­tin­ued to press for­ward with Sig­urds­son fir­ing over the bar and Leroy Fer ef­fort blocked. But Swansea’s hopes of a late con­so­la­tion goal were dashed when Valdes saved from Fer­nando Llorente late, as the visi­tors slumped to sec­ond from bot­tom ahead of Hull on goal dif­fer­ence.

MID­DLES­BROUGH: Swansea City’s An­gel Ran­gel, right, and Mid­dles­brough’s Vik­tor Fis­cher bat­tle for the ball dur­ing their English Premier League soc­cer match at the River­side Sta­dium, Mid­dles­brough, Eng­land, yes­ter­day. — AP

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