Middlesbrough’s top six prospects affected by Swans draw


Michael Obafemi celebrates after scoring his 11th goal of the season

Middlesbrough’s Championship play-off hopes suffered another setback as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Swansea City.

Riley McGree ended Boro’s four-game drought with a deflected drive early in the second half.

But Swansea trailed just two minutes as Michael Obafemi produced his last cool finish.

Middlesbrough are five points clear of the play-offs after failing to win in five games.

The draw sees them move up one place to eighth, but wins are needed if they are to fight their way into the top six.

They might have won all three points here if Aaron Connolly’s late effort hadn’t returned to the post – the third time the woodwork has rocked in a thrilling second half.

Swansea drop to 14th but end the season in good form after extending their longest unbeaten streak under Russell Martin to eight games.

Middlesbrough had been boosted on the eve of the match by boss Chris Wilder’s statement that he was “all in” at the Teesside club despite speculation linking him with a move to Burnley.

The Riverside club needed a boost after stumbling in recent weeks, taking just one point from four games before the long trip to Wales.

Wilder’s side pressed high when possible early on, and their bold approach almost paid off when Swansea spat possession nearly halfway up the pitch.

McGree threw a pass behind for Duncan Watmore, but his updraft flew just the wrong side of Andy Fisher’s post.

Swansea, as is usually the case, dominated the ball – but made little impression in the final third before the break.

Their only sight of goal came when Joel Latibeaudière threw a pass into the box for Flynn Downes, but his hooked half-volley drifted over the bar.

The contest came to life in the first minute of the second half, when a rare error from Matt Grimes presented possession to McGree and his drive from outside the box deflected Kyle Naughton and bounced into the netting via the underside of the bar.

Middlesbrough’s first goal since April 2 really should have been followed by a second two minutes later, but Marcus Tavernier fired too close at Fisher.

Fisher’s save sparked a counter-attack which ended in Swansea’s equaliser, as Joel Piroe fed Obafemi and he turned away from Sol Bamba before placing a shot past Luke Daniels from the edge of the surface.

After the calm of the first half, chaos suddenly reigned.

Marc Bola missed a goal-of-the-season contender as his glorious 25-yard volley crashed into the crossbar, and Swansea escaped again when Anfernee Dijksteel was denied by Fisher and another effort de Tavernier was cleared from the line.

Once again Martin’s side responded on the break, with Cyrus Christie choosing Hannes Wolf at the far post only for the Austrian to see Daniels push his sweet half-volley over the bar.

Middlesbrough players celebrate Riley McGree’s first club goal

Piroe’s 20-yard effort then drew a sprawling save from Daniels, who was again on hand to deny Ryan Manning.

Ben Cabango then headed wide when he looked at the scoring chances, before Andraz Sporar’s drive was parried by Fisher.

Middlesbrough looked certain to win when substitute Connolly scored on goal in the 90th minute, but his low shot rolled safely past the post after a light touch from Fisher.

Swansea head coach Russell Martin:

“I thought it was a very high level game. I really enjoyed the first half. We had so much dominance and control. We have to do more.

“The start of the second half, an unusual mistake, it was my fault. Grimesy was amazing, so brave.

“I’m grateful to them for the way they reacted and the game came to life I guess. At 1-1 the atmosphere skyrocketed. The game got really open and we wanted to score quickly because we got carried away by emotion.

“The game got way too open. It was scary. They had a few too many chances and we’ll learn from that.”

Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder:

“It could have gone either way. Obviously we’re a bit disappointed. I always believe that when we play at Swansea and they’re full of confidence, they do that to everyone. I’m not fazed by the possession – they have great players and they play in a way that suits the football club.

“I think the way they play sometimes gives you the opportunity to create and punish. We didn’t do that. We had great chances. We have to do better.

“I know they had chances too – it was fabulous viewing and a few heart attacks for the managers.

“It’s a huge game for us on Wednesday night. [against Cardiff]a decisive match for us.”

    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text


3-4-2-1 formation


    33Fisher5Cabango26Naughton22Latibeaudière23ChristieBooked at 87 mins8Grimes4Downes3ManningReplaced byNtchamat 72’minutes17Piroe13WolfBooked at 84 mins9Obafemi




3-5-2 formation


    28Daniels2Dijksteel22BambaBooked at 82 mins17McNair35Jones48McGree16Howson7Tavernier Replaced by Payeroat 90+3’minutes27Bola18Watmore Replaced byConnollyat 65’minutes37Coburn Replaced bySporarat 66’minutes



Referee: David WebbAttendance:18,246Match StatsHome TeamSwanseaAway TeamMiddlesbroughPossessionHome75% Away25%ShootsHome19Away13Shots On TargetHome4Away4CornersHome8Away2FoulsHome12Away12Live TextUpdate

Match ends, Swansea City 1, Middlesbrough 1.

90’+6’Full Time

Second Half ends, Swansea City 1, Middlesbrough 1.

90’+5’After update

Foul by Flynn Downes (Swansea City).

90’+5’After update

Isaiah Jones (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90’+5’After update

Corner, Swansea City. Corner conceded by Andraz Sporar.

90’+4’After update

Joel Piroe (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90’+4’After update

Foul by Isaiah Jones (Middlesbrough).

90’+3’After update

Joel Latibeaudiere (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90’+3’After update

Foul by Isaiah Jones (Middlesbrough).


Replacement, Middlesbrough. Martín Payero replaces Marcus Tavernier due to injury.

90’Publish update

Hannes Wolf (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90’Publish update

Foul by Isaiah Jones (Middlesbrough).

89’Publish update

Aaron Connolly (Middlesbrough) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the center of the box. Assisted by Riley McGree.


Cyrus Christie (Swansea City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

87’Publish update

Foul by Cyrus Christie (Swansea City).

87’Publish update

Riley McGree (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

86’Publish update

Failed attempt. Ben Cabango (Swansea City) header from the right side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Matt Grimes from a cross from a corner.

86’Publish update

Corner, Swansea City. Corner conceded by Isaiah Jones.

86’Publish update

Attempt blocked. Olivier Ntcham (Swansea City) left footed shot to the left of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Michael Obafemi.

84’Publish update

Attempt saved. Andraz Sporar (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the penalty area sees his shot blocked. Assisted by Riley McGree.

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Source: bbc.com


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