Middlesbrough 3-0 Wolves
First things first with regards this fixture, it was a cup game.
Wolves record in cup games is terrible over the last 10 years so it is amazing that we managed to get to this stage of the competition at all.
That being said, Kenny Jackett came out on the club website proclaiming that he would like to be the head coach who takes the club on a cup run again.
All well and good, and in a way surprisingly refreshing to hear.
Even the team selection looked strong with over half the first team regulars in the starting line up against a Middlesbrough team who have been flying so far this season.
They themselves made multiple changes, maybe more so than Wolves.
With Boro’s form in mind it seemed as though on paper at least, that there would be a return to the 4-2-3-1 normality of the last 2 seasons.
Jack Price and George Saville holding midfield with McDonald further forward with a front 3 of Wallace, Enobakhare and Van La Parra.
Creativity and protection for the fragile defence.
But the dream ended as soon as the teams lined up in a 4-4-2 with Saville on the left wing and VLP up front.
Utter madness that unsurprisingly didn’t work.
That being said, the first half of this game, Wolves looked more solid and combative than at any other point this season and at least held their own against Boro without ever really looking like scoring.
The first actual meaningful shot didn’t come until the hour mark in the second half.
But again it was a defensive error that led to the opening goal.
Without looking like there was much danger, Ebanks-Landell somehow managed to fall over on the ball leaving Adomah with an easy tap in from about 5 yards out.
Fabbrini got the second goal and to be fair it was a brilliant finish from near the ‘D’ of the box rifled into the top left hand corner.
Being hyper critical he probably should have been closed down quicker but he made the space for himself and it was a great finish.
And it was Adomah who started the scoring in the first half who finished it when the ball fell to him unmarked in the box from a ball from Fabbrini.
Placed into the bottom corner with Ikeme no chance.
There isn’t really much to say as the game wasn’t exactly a classic and the 312 tortured souls who journeyed up to Teesside didn’t even get a performance to cheer in wake of defeat.
They got about 44 minutes and a brief cameo from James Henry towards the end who actually looked like he wanted to be on the pitch.
Enobakhare looked lively and has a physical presence that we are severely lacking in this team.
Price did well for an hour and then started to tire, as did Deslandes at left back.
Notable criticisms have to go to McDonald who was poor again and Jackett for again messing players around.
Playing them out of position and in a formation that doesn’t work, we can’t play, and no-one but him seems to understand.
It is no wonder we haven’t won up there since 1951, and it could very well be another 64 years before we win again going on our last 2 visits to the Riverside.
Image via http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/middlesbrough-3-0-wolves-albert-6493904