Date: 19th November 2017 at 9:06pm
Written by: Vital Boro

Middlesbrough suffered a 2-1 defeat to fellow promotion hopefuls Leeds United on manager Garry Monk’s return to Elland Road.

Pablo Hernandez gave the hosts the lead midway through the opening half before supplying Ezgjan Alioski for a second goal soon after the break.

Britt Assombalonga replied from the penalty spot with thirteen minutes remaining after Luke Ayling clashed with Daniel Ayala – but it wasn’t enough.

Boro still remain in the play-off positions courtesy of a slightly better goal-difference than their latest opponents.

The early exchanges witnessed few major incidents, although Stewart Downing forced a save from Andy Lonergan before Hernandez converted a low cross at the far post for the opening goal.

Samuel Saiz could have added to that when left unchecked as the hosts continued to dictate, while teenager Marcus Tavernier was unable to take advantage of a sharp opportunity after the break.

And it wasn’t long before Boro defender Ayala missed a header and Alioski slotted in from another delivery into the danger area.

Marcus Braithwaite saw his reply deflected behind before Liam Cooper should have done better with a header at the other end.

However, the visitors were given a way back into the contest when Assombalonga converted a penalty with just over ten minutes remaining.

Boro’s club record signing then had a later effort deflected wide, while Ayala also headed over during an extended seven minutes of added time.

Leeds United: Lonergan, Ayling, Jansson, Cooper, Berardi, Vieira, Phillips, Hernandez, Saiz (O’Kane 88), Alioski (Pennington 90), Roofe (Ekuban 79)

subs (unused): Anita, Grot, Wiedwald, Sacko

Goals: Hernandez (24), Alioski (54)

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Roberts, Ayala, Gibson, Friend (Traore 65), Howson, Leadbitter (Fletcher 71), Tavernier (Johnson 56), Braithwaite, Downing, Assombalonga

subs (unused): Konstantopoulos, Fabio, Fry, Forshaw

Goals: Assombalonga (pen 77)

Ref: K. Stroud

Att: 33,771


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