Date: 10th September 2016 at 10:21pm
Written by: Vital Boro

Middlesbrough surrendered their unbeaten top-flight record with a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at the Riverside.

Defender Daniel Ayala’s header from a Stewart Downing corner cancelled out Christian Benteke’s opener prior to the break.

However, Wilfried Zaha put the visitors back in front straight after the restart and they weren’t to relinquish that advantage.

Alvaro Negredo and Adam Clayton had seen early efforts for the hosts while Scott Dann headed wide from a corner delivered towards the other end.

The Eagles were in front, though, when Zaha crossed on sixteen minutes and Benteke beat Ayala and headed across the recalled Victor Valdes.

Goalkeeper Valdes then went full-length to keep out Andros Townsend before Ayala headed in from George Friend’s corner to equalise.

Palace keeper Steve Mandanda soon turned aside from Negredo while Friend dropped a back-pass short early in the second-half and Zaha seized the opportunity to restore the lead.

Boro’s Downing went close from 25-yards and Mandanda fingertipped over from Ben Gibson before defensive partner Ayala headed wide from a corner.

Substitute Gaston Ramirez was later similarly denied by the French keeper as the visitors held on.

Middlesbrough: Valdes, Barragan, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Forshaw, Clayton (de Roon 57), Stuani (Traore 81), Downing, Fischer (Ramirez 57), Negredo

subs (unused): Rhodes, Guzan, Nsue Lopez, Chambers

Goals: Ayala (38)

Crystal Palace: Mandanda, Kelly, Dann, Delaney, Ward, McArthur, Ledley (Flamini 84), Zaha, Puncheon, Townsend (Lee Chung-yong 77), C. Benteke (J. Benteke 84)

subs (unused): Tomkins, Hennessey, Fryers, Dreher

Goals: C. Benteke (16), Zaha (47)

Ref: N. Swarbrick

Att: 30,551


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