By Robert O’Connor
Last Updated: 12/08/17 8:14pm
Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Sheffield United.
Rudy Gestede’s first-half header helped Middlesbrough to a deserved 1-0 win against Sheffield United in the club’s first home game since relegation from the Premier League.
Gestede capitalised on a weak header from Blades centre back Chris Basham midway through the half to nod over ‘keeper Chris Blackman and give the hosts their first win of the season.
The game finished with controversy when a stoppage-time header from United’s Jack O’Connell was ruled out for a contentious offside.
Rudy Gestede started in a front three with Patrick Bamford and Britt Assombalonga for Boro.Billy Sharp led the line for the Blades.
Reaction from match winner Rudy Gestede and man of the match Adam Clayton after Middlesbrough’s narrow 1-0 win over Sheffield United.
Boro gave home debuts to Ashley Fletcher and Chelsea-loanee in an impressive attacking display which was largely dominated by the hosts.
The Blades’ Leon Clarke spurned the chance to give his side the lead after seven minutes when he dwelt on the ball from Kieron Freeman’s fine pull-back and failed to get a shot off.
Boro heeded the warning and quickly took control of proceedings, with Gestede rounding off a period of concerted pressure to head home after Basham had failed to clear Patrick Bamford’s clipped through-ball.
Middlesbrough: Randolph (8), Christie (7), Fry (6), Gibson (7), Friend (7), Clayton (7), Howson (8), Forshaw (7), Bamford (7), Assombalonga (7), Gestede (8)
Subs: Baker (7), Fletcher (7)
Sheffield United: Blackman (7), Stevens (6), Fleck (6), O’Connell (7), Basham (6), Clarke (6), Sharp (6), Coutts (7), Freeman (7), Stearman (6), Carruthers (7)
Subs: Duffy (7), Brooks (7)
Man of the match: Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough)
Hear from an unhappy Chris Wilder as Sheffield United’s winning run came to a controversial end against Middlesbrough.
Chances were scarce after the break, substitute Baker shooting straight at Blackman when put through at the near post before United staged a rare attack and Paul Coutts brought a good save from Darren Randolph low to the ‘keeper’s left.
Gestede headed against the post from a Freeman cross for Boro, before O’Connell’s stoppage-time header was ruled out after the linesman ruled the Blades centre back had strayed offside.
Man of the match – Adam Clayton
Ran Middlesbrough’s midfield tirelessly. Boro’s game relied on finding space in the middle of the pitch and invariably it was Clayton who was opening it up, as well as being the first man in the oppositions’ face when the ball was lost.
Middlesbrough play Burton Albion at home on Tuesday at 7.45, whilst Sheffield United face Cardiff City away the same night at 7.45