Boro beat Southampton for first win of season

Published on: 23 September 2023

Jonny Howson's penalty ensured a first league win for Middlesbrough since 19 April

Middlesbrough eased pressure on boss Michael Carrick as they got their first Championship win of the season - coming from behind to beat struggling Southampton.

Adam Armstrong finished well to put Saints ahead early on before the impressive Riley McGree levelled for the hosts just before the break, having already gone close for Boro.

The hosts took the lead thanks to Jonny Howson's penalty, after Taylor Harwood-Bellis had dragged down Josh Coburn in the area.

Coburn and McGree both had good chances to increase the lead while Saints' Samuel Edozie forced a good save from Seny Dieng as Boro held on.

The win lift's Carrick's side off the foot of the Championship and into 22nd place while Southampton slip to 15th spot, with a fourth successive defeat putting more focus on the leadership of boss Russell Martin.

    More of Saturday's EFL action

They have conceded 12 goals in those losses, after the month started with a 5-0 reverse at Sunderland and 4-1 home defeat by Leicester.

Whilst fellow relegated sides Leicester and Leeds have started well - they are first and fifth respectively - Southampton still appear to be adapting to their relegation from the top flight and the loss of James Ward-Prowse, Romeo Lavia and Tino Livramento.

Boro could have been behind after 10 minutes as they lost possession in midfield and Will Smallbone's accurate pass put Che Adams clear, but the Scotland forward shot wide when he should have scored.

But not long after that Saints did go ahead, Boro again turning the ball over to Flynn Downes and he found Adams - and he threaded it through to Armstrong, who took a touch before finishing well on the angle.

McGree almost equalised 10 minutes later as Coburn's strong run put Isaiah Jones through down the right and his pass across the face of goal was met my a sliding McGree who, from a very tight angle, could only roll it across the goalline and Saints gratefully cleared.

Boro continued to gain the ascendency and were rewarded when McGree blasted low into the bottom corner from the edge of the box after Jones had caught Mason Holgate in possession.

The hosts continued to be the better side after the break as Jones and McGree both had good efforts, before Howson's penalty gave them a deserved lead.

It would have been 3-1 but for Coburn's selfishness as he broke clear with 20 minutes left, as the forward fired at goal rather than pass to one of the two unmarked team-mates to his left.

When he did pass he did it well - a flashed ball across the face of goal found McGree, but the Australia midfielder could not find the target as Boro held on for a nervy finish after Edozie's late chance.

    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text


Formation 4-2-3-1

1Dieng3van den Berg6Fry26Lenihan28O'Brien16Howson7Hackney11Jones25Crooks8McGree19Coburn

    1Dieng3van den BergSubstituted forSmithat 73'minutesBooked at 90mins6Fry26Lenihan28O'Brien16Howson7HackneyBooked at 58mins11JonesBooked at 53minsSubstituted forSilveraat 90+1'minutes25CrooksSubstituted forGreenwoodat 69'minutes8McGree19Coburn


    2Smith4Barlaser9Latte Lath10Rogers17McNair18Silvera23Glover27Engel29Greenwood


Formation 4-3-3

31Bazunu6Holgate21Harwood-Bellis35Bednarek2Walker-Peters4Downes24Charles16Smallbone9A Armstrong10Adams26Fraser

    31Bazunu6HolgateSubstituted forManningat 45'minutes21Harwood-Bellis35Bednarek2Walker-Peters4Downes24CharlesSubstituted forEdozieat 72'minutes16SmallboneSubstituted forAriboat 83'minutes9A Armstrong10AdamsSubstituted forS Armstrongat 72'minutes26FraserSubstituted forSulemanaat 69'minutes


    1McCarthy3Manning7Aribo14Bree17S Armstrong18Mara20Sulemana22Alcaraz23Edozie

Referee:Tim RobinsonAttendance:26,141Match StatsHome TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamSouthamptonPossessionHome51%Away49%ShotsHome14Away15Shots on TargetHome5Away5CornersHome5Away7FoulsHome16Away7Live Text Post update

Match ends, Middlesbrough 2, Southampton 1.

90'+6'Full Time

Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 2, Southampton 1.


Tommy Smith (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90'+6'Post update

Foul by Tommy Smith (Middlesbrough).

90'+6'Post update

Samuel Edozie (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90'+3'Post update

Hand ball by Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton).

90'+2'Post update

Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90'+2'Post update

Foul by Sam Greenwood (Middlesbrough).


Substitution, Middlesbrough. Samuel Silvera replaces Isaiah Jones.

90'Post update

Tommy Smith (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90'Post update

Foul by Samuel Edozie (Southampton).

88'Post update

Attempt saved. Jan Bednarek (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

87'Post update

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Seny Dieng.

87'Post update

Attempt saved. Samuel Edozie (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Joe Aribo.

86'Post update

Offside, Middlesbrough. Hayden Hackney tries a through ball, but Josh Coburn is caught offside.

86'Post update

Riley McGree (Middlesbrough) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Josh Coburn following a fast break.


Substitution, Southampton. Joe Aribo replaces Will Smallbone.

82'Post update

Foul by Josh Coburn (Middlesbrough).

82'Post update

Flynn Downes (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

82'Post update

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Darragh Lenihan.

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