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Match Report: Cardiff City 2-3 Middlesbrough (Middlesbrough Fan's Perspective)

Monday 19th December 2011
A moment of brilliance from Belgian international midfielder Faris Haroun helped Boro to leapfrog Cardiff into third in The Championship, and win for the second season in a row at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Middlesbrough keeper Jason Steele can count himself lucky not to have been sent off after he clashed with Bluebirds defender Kevin McNaughton early on, but referee Graham Salisbury waved away the protests. Soon after, on the quarter-hour mark, the visitors took the lead via a deflected shot from the sharp Bart Ogbeche, which flew into the corner past the despairing David Marshall on Ogbeche's first start for Boro.

The Teessider's lead was short lived however. Only seven minutes later a Cardiff corner caused confusion in the visitors' box and defender Ben Turner nodded in from a few yards out. Not long after Boro were denied what looked like a stone-wall penalty themselves as ex-Middlesbrough leftback Andrew Taylor felled Scott McDonald in the box, but Salisbury again waved away the protests.

Cardiff took control of the game in the last 15 minutes of the first period and edged ahead a minute before the break. Some neat build-up play released Scotland international Kenny Miller, his excellent back-heel found Aron Gunnarsson who beat the advancing Steele.

In the second half Boro pressed for an equalizer and they saw McDonald waste a good chance as he nodded a free header wide from a Barry Robson free-kick. The Australian international made no mistake in the 60th minute however, when a sublime ball from defensive midfielder Nicky Bailey found Justin Hoyte in on the right. Hoyte then squared it for McDonald to tap in from six yards out for his fifth goal in seven games.

With the score level at 2-2 both teams pressed for a winner but it was the visitors who landed the decisive blow in the 76th minute, when Julio Arca floated a great ball to Haroun in the box who showed great composure to chest down and finish through Marshall's legs.

The victory takes Tony Mowbray's men to within three points of leaders Southampton and gives them an excellent confidence boost as they head into a tough festive schedule.
Matthew Nixon

Total articles: 28

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