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Middlesbrough 0 West Brom 1 - Player ratings

By Joseph Masi | West Bromwich Albion | Published: | Last Updated:

Albion produced a gritty and determined display to secure a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough.

Sam Johnstone was fantastic against Boro

Here we rate the players.

SAM JOHNSTONE

At Leeds, the keeper made an outstanding double save just before half-time. And he did it again here to deny Britt Assombalonga and George Saville. This one wasn’t quite as heroic as what he produced at Elland Road. But it was still from the top draw and allowed Albion to start the second-half on the front foot. A huge, huge, reason why the Baggies were able to keep a clean sheet, Johnstone kept out Saville again in the second-half with another excellent stop. 9

DARNELL FURLONG

With Matheus Pereira eager to cut inside from the right flank, Furlong had to curb his attacking instincts to ensure he wasn't caught out of position. But he became more of a threat after the break as Albion grew in stature - in what, overall, was a steady display. 7

SEMI AJAYI

The Nigerian kept Neymar, Roberto Firminio and Gabriel Jesus quiet on international duty. And his speed and physicality ensured he came out on top here whenever Assombalonga shifted to his side. Showed again he every quality you want in a centre-back. 8

KYLE BARTLEY

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Another excellent afternoon for the defender who knows he now faces real competition from Ahmed Hegazi for a starting spot. Here Bartley stood up to the physical threat of Britt Assombalonga. He was also strong in the air and tidy on the ball. 8

NATHAN FERGUSON

The teenager impressed defensively with Boro wing-back Marcus Tavernier offering next to nothing going forward. Ferguson did miss-place a few passes early doors but – like Furlong – he improved as the game went on in what was another steady, assured display. 7

JAKE LIVERMORE

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Excellent against Cardiff, Livermore picked up where he left off with another commanding performance. Whether it was high up the pitch or on the edge of his own box, the 29-year-old won the ball time and time again with a series of well-timed challenges. Physically so important to this team, Livermore twice came close to scoring when he met cut-backs form Grady Diangana. 9

ROMAINE SAWYERS

Sawyers has a pass completion rate sits at a whopping 92 per cent this season. But that is even more impressive when you think of how he moves the ball. So positive and composed in possession, the way he continually found his team mates between the lines was a joy to watch. 8

MATHEUS PEREIRA

With Matt Phillips out with a shin injury, Pereira was shifted from the no.10 role to wide on the right. There were times when he showed his quick feet and magic on the ball. But he feels better suited to playing centrally – with Albion looking more of a threat when he moved inside. 7

FILIP KROVINOVIC

The Croatian had a glorious chance early on but took an extra touch when he really needed to shoot first time – with that hesitancy allowing Ryan Shotton to block. Otherwise, the Benfica loanee worked hard and proved to be tidy in possession. 6

GRADY DIANGANA

Time and time again the winger managed to get to the byline and pick out a man – with Boro simply unable to live with his trickery. A mixture of good defending and poor finishing meant he sometimes got frustrated with his team mates. But Diangana got his reward in the end by playing a key role in the winning goal. A fantastic display. 9

CHARLIE AUSTIN

The striker lead from the front with Austin pressing relentlessly in a bid to force Boro's defenders into mistakes. The 30-year-old also did well dropping deep to link up play. Unfortunately, wasn't presented with a chance his finishing abilities deserve. 6

Subs

HAL ROBSON-KANU (for Austin 62)

The Welshman came off the bench at Fulham to help inspire his team to a 1-1 draw. He made a similar impact at QPR with the striker winning the free-kick that led to Yoann Barbet’s red card and Matheus Pereira’s goal. And he went on better here by netting the only goal of the game just 24 hours after agreeing a new contract. Fantastic. 8

KYLE EDWARDS (for Krovinovic 62)

Looked bright and dangerous every time he got on the ball. Probably would have scored but for an outstanding challenge from Marvin Johnson. 7

AHMED HEGAZI (for Livermore 92)

Was only on the pitch a few minutes but produced a reckless foul to give away a dangerous free-kick. N/A

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

West Bromwich Albion reporter.

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