Gaston Ramirez punishes former club Hull as he rescues Middlesbrough from dour stalemate
Uruguayan international scores against one of his former clubs to secure his present team a crucial 1-0 win in their Premier League clash
Middlesbrough’s Uruguayan international Gaston Ramirez scored against one of his former clubs Hull to secure his present team a crucial 1-0 win in their Premier League clash on Monday.
Victory sees Middlesbrough – winning at home for only the second time this term – move four points clear of the relegation spots whilst Hull remain mired in the bottom three after their fifth successive away defeat.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka was delighted with the manner in which his players played for each other but admitted they would need many more such performances to assure themselves of a second season in the elite league.
“We have 15 points, we must keep going and working together,” said Karanka.
“We have to fight with the teams in the relegation positions because we are a newly-promoted team. We have done nothing yet,” added the 43-year-old Spaniard.
His Hull counterpart Mike Phelan said his resources might be thin on the ground both financially and in terms of personnel but it was up to the players to produce something on the pitch.
“We tried to drag something out of it but it was really disappointing,” said Phelan.
“We gave away a ridiculous goal from a set piece, we all have jobs to do and we didn’t concentrate.
“We are short on the ground, we have added a couple but we are where we are because of the beginning of the season. We have to keep our heads above water,” added the 54-year-old Englishman.
Middlesbrough ran the game in the first-half, largely thanks to Ramirez, who had a spell on loan at Hull, with the visitors desperately short of ideas or ambition.
However, the hosts – who had garnered just four points from their previous six home matches – couldn’t convert pressure and possession into goals.
Viktor Fischer – preferred to the impressive 19-year-old Adama Traore – did have the ball in the net after he was unselfishly fed by Alvaro Negredo but the linesman flagged for offside.
Ramirez decided to have a go himself and he fired in a fierce effort but again failed to break the deadlock as Marshall got down well to save.
The one time Hull conjured something out of an attack Middlesbrough captain Ben Gibson recovered to pull off a brilliant tackle on striker Adama Diomande.
The hosts dominated the second-half as well forcing a succession of corners and deservedly went in front on the hour mark through the impressive Ramirez.
The 26-year-old shook off the attentions of the ponderous Diomande and headed home at the back post for his second goal of the season.
Middlesbrough’s three-time Champions League winning goalkeeper Victor Valdes had to wait till stoppage time to be forced into action.
Diomande – who had been starved of possession all evening – showed a deft touch on the ball and produced a superb curling effort from outside the penalty area only for the Spanish keeper to turn it away for a corner.