Match Ratings: Middlesbrough 1 Birmingham City 0 - Dael Fry is star man in Boro victory

Middlesbrough centre-half Dael Fry
Middlesbrough centre-half Dael Fry

How did the players fare in Middlesbrough's 1-0 win over Birmingham?


MIDDLESBROUGH (3-5-2):

8 Steffen: Made two crucial saves, keeping out Hogan’s shot with his foot and tipping Longelo’s shot over the bar

7 McNair: Justified his recall to the starting side with a committed display – but might have seen red early on

8 FRY: Produced a towering defensive display when Boro needed it most – won everything that came his way in the air

6 Bola: Slotted effectively into the left-hand side of Boro’s back three and made some important blocks

7 Dijksteel: Ensured that Jones was not really missed as he pushed forward in the first half and defended solidly after the break

6 Crooks: Started fairly slowly, but gradually got into his stride and came close with a decent first-half effort

7 Howson: Back to something approaching his best as he covered a lot of ground in front of the Boro backline

6 Hackney: Produced some nice touches and dribbles, and could be satisfied with his performance on his first league start

6 Giles: Made some effective breaks forward in the first half, and dug in when he needed to at the start of the second

7 Akpom: Was in the right place at the right time to open the scoring and put in a shift as he tried to stretch the Blues’ defence

6 Muniz: Was quiet for most of the night, but came within inches of scoring with a second-half header that hit the bar


Subs:

6 McGree (for Hackney, 63): Kept Boro moving forward and played a fine late pass to release Forss

6 Lenihan (for Giles, 70): Helped Boro close things out as Birmingham pressed in the closing stages

5 Forss (for Akpom, 70): Had the ball in the net after Muniz hit the bar, but was clearly offside

Watmore (for Muniz, 82)

Smith (for Dijksteel, 82)

(not used): Roberts (gk), Mowatt.


BIRMINGHAM (3-4-1-2):

Ruddy 6; Colin 5 (James 88), Sanderson 6, Trusty 5; Graham 5, Bielik 5 (Hall 79), CHONG 7 (Bellingham 88), Longelo 6; Bacuna 6 (Mejbri 46, 4); Deeney 4 (Jutkiewicz 79), Hogan 5.

Subs (not used): Etheridge (gk), Leko.


Man Of The Match: DAEL FRY – The Boro centre-half repelled everything that Birmingham threw at him to help secure a much-needed clean sheet.