Boro seize promotion initiative to go top

Alex Tettey own goal floors Norwich at Carrow Road

Albert Adomah of Middlesbrough is tackled by Norwich City’s Alex Tettey during the English Championship match at Carrow Road on Friday night. Photograph: Getty.

Norwich City 0
Middlesbrough 1

An early own goal from Alex Tettey sent Middlesbrough top of the table to leave Norwich City fretting over their own automatic pro motion prospects.

After damaging back-to-back away defeats to fellow promotion hopefuls Bournemouth and Watford, Aitor Karanka said before the game that defeat at Carrow Road would have spelt the end of his side’s top-two hopes – but they are now on course to end their six-year hiatus from the Premier League.

With Middlesbrough now top of the table it is hard to describe this victory as an upset – but Norwich had won 12 in 15 games and came into the clash on a five-match winning streak.

The purpose and quality behind Boro’s start to the game caught Norwich by surprise. It resulted in a stream of corners any of which could have seen the visitors go in front. There was a sharpness about them that belied their recent poor run on their travels.


Jelle Vossen was only just stifled out of it when Tomas Kalas did well to chase down a long pass and send the ball across. The same player then fired the ball narrowly over on the volley after Albert Adomah's driven centre had been helped on by Patrick Bamford.

A reverse pass from Lee Tomlin then sent Bamford striding through. Only Sebastien Bassong with a vital interception prevented Vossen from helping himself to a tap-in. However, the eighth-minute corner offered no respite to Norwich as the ball caught the back of Tettey's head and was over the line before Adomah arrived to make sure.

Norwich were starting to dominate possession but without breaking through a resolute Middlesbrough side – and wasting the ball on the rare occasion that they did.

Tomlin almost doubled the visitors’ advantage as he saw a 25-yard strike clip the crossbar as they hit Norwich on the counter attack.

The home side wanted a penalty on the 80-minute mark as Cameron Jerome's cross hit the arm of George Friend - but referee Robert Madley was unsighted and his assistant only flagged for a corner.

Curled it wide

Bamford should have wrapped the game up when played in by Tomlin – but the Chelsea loanee attempted to bend a shot in and instead curled it wide.

Lewis Grabban saw a scuffed shot deflect wide of Dimi Konstantopoulos' post and Russell Martin's drive was turned over by Ben Gibson but, despite seven minutes of stoppage time, Norwich could not level.
Guardian Service