Middlesbrough gave themselves a chance to make the playoffs on the final day as they produced one of the comfortable football results of the weekend in the Championship. Matt Crooks scored in the 21st minute before a Lewis Baker own goal doubled their advantage in the 25th minute. Crooks scored his second of the game in the 72nd minute before Nick Powell scored a consolation goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time. The result meant that the hosts will have to hope Sheffield dropped points on the last day of the season against table-toppers Fulham. Stoke City on the other hand remains in 13th place after a disappointing season that failed to live up to its early promise.
Middlesbrough’s Chris Wilder: “We wanted a Middlesbrough home performance and I thought we had that. I thought out of possession we were really good, we were structured, we were hard to beat, hard to break down. I thought the control we had, the details in terms of our play were really good and I was delighted with the level of performance really. I would have taken a scrappy 1-0 win, I think we all would have, but I think the way we played can hold us in good stead that we go into next week in decent nick.”
Stoke’s Dean Holden: “First half we were way off the pace, we started well in terms of possession and control of the game but without any real edge to it. We knew where their vulnerabilities lay and where we could potentially hurt them, but we didn’t really see that in terms of the runs we made in behind and in terms of the decisiveness in our play really, but the first goal is obviously a big goal in any game.”
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