Karanka’s side see off promotion rivals in style
“I’ll take responsibility after 3-1. I threw strikers on, and we were all over the place and a bit of a shambles at the end. We’re organised at corners normally and shouldn’t concede.
“It’s not like us, defending has been one of our strengths this season.We know how to defend and we didn’t defend. Having got back into it I thought we were the better side in the first half, and I don’t watch with rose-tinted spectacles.”
Ipswich’s problems were not helped when goalkeeper Dean Gerken had to go to hospital with concussion after he clattered in to Christophe Berra and George Friend as Ayala headed Middlesbrough in front in the fourth minute.
Ipswich pulled level when goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos made a mess of Jonathan Parr’s 11th-minute drive from distance. Murphy reacted first and turned in the rebound.
The first half was a nervy affair, but Middlesbrough – who should have had a penalty before the break when Bamford was fouled by Berra – edged ahead when Adomah powered in a low drive from just inside the area on half an hour following a well-worked corner.
The crucial third arrived in the 64th minute. Jelle Vossen, preferred in attack to Lee Tomlin and Kike, flicked a lovely pass beyond the defence for Bamford to run on to.
The Chelsea youngster had all the time to round goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski and tap in to an empty net to give Middlesbrough the breathing space required for the final stages.
With Ipswich pushing on with 11 minutes remaining, Bamford was put through again. This time he decided to shoot early and his effort found the bottom-left corner of the Ipswich net.
AL-BEAUTY! Albert Adomah after netting his side’s second goal