Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Middlesbrough 0 Burnley 0: Goal-shy Boro continue to struggle

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Apr 2017

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Middlesbrough’s winless streak continued as they had to settle for a goalless draw with Burnley in Saturday’s encounter at Riverside Stadium to make it 14 Premier League fixtures without victory.

Alvaro Negredo came close to ending his side’s poor run of form with an acrobatic effort after the break – a rare highlight in an otherwise underwhelming match – but Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton did well to deny the striker and ensure it ended all square.

Boro recently parted ways with Aitor Karanka in an attempt to turn things around and avoid the drop to the Championship, but caretaker manager Steve Agnew still awaits his first three-pointer after four games in charge.

Burnley, meanwhile, are still without an away league win this season following this weekend’s draw, with Rotherham United the only other side in the top four English tiers yet to emerge victorious away from home.

The result leaves Middlesbrough in 19th place on 24 points from 31 games, six points behind 17th-placed Hull City, but with a game in hand.

Burnley move up to 12th place and have a comfortable eight-point cushion over 18th-placed Swansea City with six games left.

 

The first chance of note fell to the visitors when referee Martin Atkinson awarded them a free kick in a dangerous position in the 13th minute, Robbie Brady unfortunate to clip the crossbar after beautifully steering his effort over the wall.

George Boyd was next to threaten for Burnley when he received the ball inside the area after a low cross from the right halfway through the first half, only to wildly blow a shot over the target from 15 yards out.

Middlesbrough somewhat improved after the break following a difficult first half and they had their first attempt on target when Rudy Gestede tested Heaton with a header from close range.

Ben Mee could have handed Burnley the lead when he beat his marker to the ball after a corner from the left, but his header went straight at goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

Agnew brought on top scorer Negredo as the home side went in search of an opener and the Spanish striker nearly broke the deadlock in the 67th minute with a fantastic bicycle kick following Stewart Downing’s cross from the left, only to see Heaton deny him with a strong save.

Sam Vokes should perhaps have delivered Burnley the win after some good work from Stephen Ward down the left, but Valdes pulled off a superb save to frustrate the attacker.

Michael Keane was then fortunate to escape a late red card after bringing down Patrick Bamford when clean through on goal, before Matthew Lowton cleared Downing’s free kick off the goal-line to ensure it remained goalless.

 

Key Opta stats: 

– Middlesbrough have been involved in seven goalless draws in the Premier League this season, at least three more than any other side.
– Indeed, the Riverside Stadium has seen fewer goals than any other Premier League ground this season (29 – 12 scored, 17 conceded).
– Sean Dyche’s side remain one of just two sides in the top four tiers of English football without an away league win this season (also Rotherham).
– The Boro are the only side in English league football without a win in 2017, last earning three points against Swansea on 17th December.

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