Date: 20th January 2018 at 10:38pm
Written by: Vital Boro

Middlesbrough struck twice before the break on their way to a comprehensive 3-0 victory against Queens Park Rangers at the Loftus Road Stadium.

Spaniard Daniel Ayala headed the visitors in front and fellow defender George Friend soon added another.

Adama Traore then extended the winning margin courtesy of his first goal for the club with five minutes remaining.

Jack Robinson had earlier gone close from distance for their opponents, while the recalled Britt Assombalonga dragged wide at the other end.

Stewart Downing also saw an attempt deflected behind, until Ben Gibson helped on Grant Leadbitter’s corner and Ayala headed into an inviting net.

The Teessiders then improved on that when Friend drove in an excellent second from around 25-yards to earn them a clear interval advantage.

Rangers responded after the break with Nedum Onuoha and Luke Freeman both having efforts, although Robinson next cleared off the line from substitute Rudy Gestede.

Boro goalkeeper Darren Randolph later produced a low save to deny Joel Lynch, while opposite number Alex Smithies was required to meet a Gestede header following Traore’s delivery.

But the latter was still to make it 3-0 for the visitors when breaking away and producing a low finish just before the end.

Queens Park Rangers: Smithies, Onuoha, Lynch, Robinson, Furlong, Luongo, Scowen (Eze 70), Freeman, Bidwell (Osayi-Samuel 46), Oteh (Smith 46), Washington

subs (unused): Ingram, Manning, Baptiste, Wszolek

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Howson, Leadbitter, Downing (Christie 87), Traore, Assombalonga (Gestede 69), Bamford (Clayton 72)

subs (unused): Konstantopoulos, Braithwaite, Fletcher, Johnson

Goals: Ayala (24), Friend (34), Traore (85)

Ref: O. Langford

Att: 14,182


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