Ramirez header helps Boro see off Tigers

Middlesbrough completely dominated Hull at the Riverside on Monday, but had just the one goal to show for their efforts.

  • Middlesbrough 1 Hull City 0
  • Hosts dominate in all areas
  • Marshall keeps them at bay until HT
  • Ramirez opens scoring with header
  • Valdes denies Diomande late on

Match Summary

A header from Gaston Ramirez on 60 minutes settled matters, although they had plenty of chances throughout to wrap the game up.

Aitor Karanka's side recorded their first win in five Premier League matches to move up to 13th place in the standings, four points better off than the second-from-bottom Tigers.

Full Report

The opening half belonged entirely to the hosts as they launched wave upon wave of attacks on the opposition goal.

Mike Phelan's men enjoyed some possession early on, but the Teessiders went on to boss proceedings and forced David Marshall into a few good saves.

Alvaro Negredo had the two best chances of the first half, stabbing over from 10 yards out in the seventh minute after being fed by Marten de Roon following a strong run down the right channel from Ramirez.

The Spanish striker would then miscue his 38th-minute header from just six yards out after being found in open space by Forshaw's cross on the left.

Marshall was called into action for the first time on 11 minutes when he made a low stop to his left to deny Ramirez from 20 yards out, while the visitors' best opportunity saw Sam Clucas sky an effort over from just inside the area after a corner had only been half-cleared by Boro.

The early pressure nearly told on 20 minutes when Robert Snodgrass lost possession outside his own area and Forshaw took control before aiming for the right corner of the goal, but Marshall pulled off another fine save to parry his shot away from danger.

Viktor Fischer thought he had broken the deadlock on 31 minutes as he latched onto Negredo's downward header and scored from close range, but the offside flag went up to bring an end to his celebrations.

Fischer then saw his 36th-minute strike from 20 yards out deflected wide before Mason made an important block inside the box to keep out the Denmark international in the final minute of the half.

Ramirez almost made the Tigers pay for failing to clear their lines early in the second half when he volleyed wide of the left post from the right-hand side of the box, but he finally had the beating of Marshall on the hour mark.

Fischer was the provider with a corner swung in towards the back post, where the Uruguayan netted with a well-directed downward header.

Boro kept up the pressure but they found the visiting defence hard to breach again, with Negredo sending a looping header straight to Marshall from Fabio's 75th-minute cross on the left before Fischer curled the ball over from inside the area on the left five minutes later.

Clucas again had Hull's best chances in the second half as he headed well over from six yards out after getting on the end of a 76th-minute Snodgrass corner, while he took the wrong option on the break in the 84th minute by dragging a shot wide of the right post from 22 yards out with team-mates available on either side of him.

Victor Valdes had made his first save just moments before as he easily claimed a header from Michael Dawson as the defender connected with Tom Huddlestone's cross, but the Spanish keeper was seriously tested for the first time at the death by Adama Diomande, who cut inside from the left and hit a swerving shot with power that was expertly tipped behind.

A nervy finish on Teesside almost saw Diomande get on the end of Ahmed Elmohamady's near-post flick from the resulting corner as the home team held on for a deserved three points.