Middlesbrough 5-1 Norwich City: Cameron Archer-inspired Boro keep faint promotion hopes alive

Aston Villa loanee Cameron Archer netted twice and teed up two more as Middlesbrough scored all of their first five shouts on target against Norwich City

Middlesbrough overpowered Norwich City with a clinical display to keep alive their faint hopes of automatic promotion.

Cameron Archer teed up Aaron Ramsey to tap in the opener against his former side before Hayden Hackney’s half-volley made it 2-0 with the first of four goals in 10 minutes before the break.

Archer slotted in the third and then promptly snuffed out the brief hope given by Josh Sargent’s finish by punishing more sloppy defending with a powerful finish.

Chuba Akpom tapped in a fifth soon after the break thanks to Archer who added a second assist to his goal double as Boro moved above Luton on goal difference into third in the Championship.

A first win in four moves Michael Carrick’s side within five points of second-placed Sheffield United with four matches remaining, but having played two games more as their hopes of a Premier League return now look anchored to the play-offs.

A draw would have lifted Norwich into the play-off places, but they remain a point outside the top six in eighth and their bid appears to be flagging after a run of one win in seven.

Sargent pulled a good early chance wide as the visitors began brightly, but Boro made them pay with their first attack as great interplay from Akpom and Archer carved open the visitors for Ramsey’s fifth goal in seven starts.

City should have levelled when Zack Steffen pushed Sam McCallum’s dangerous ball into Sargent’s path, but the prostrate Boro goalkeeper got a hand to his close-range effort.

The match was decided in a frantic close to the first half as Hackney doubled the lead a minute after Darragh Lenihan’s headed finish had been ruled out for offside.

The goal drew protests from the Canaries, unhappy that the hosts had played on and scored with Sam McCallum down injured, but they only had themselves to blame when Archer easily found space to convert Alex Mowatt’s pass for 3-0.

Boro returned the compliment when Paddy McNair was caught in possession by Sargent who ran on and slid a neat finish through Steffen’s legs.

But a Norwich defence missing first-choice centre-halves Grant Hanley and Ben Gibson, then poked Ryan Giles’ free-kick straight to the unmarked Archer to kill the game.

City had lost just one of their previous eight games on the road, but were already on track for their heaviest defeat of the season before Akpom netted for the eighth successive home game – matching the Championship record shared with Jarrod Bowen and Tammy Abraham.

Pressing for a consolation on a miserable evening, Gabriel Sara’s powerful strike smacked the post and the Canaries should have had a penalty when Ryan Giles brought down Max Aarons, who later forced a smart stop from Steffen.

Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick told BBC Radio Tees:

“It’s a great result. The goals going in were clinical and it was a ruthless performance more than anything. Football-wise we haven’t played any worse than that but we haven’t won in recent weeks.

“We looked dangerous in spells which was great to see. The boys took confidence from the fact we hadn’t had a result but the performances have been there.

“I thought we got the balance right, we defended generally pretty well and we looked good at the other end.

“When we hit a patch in games, similar to the other day [against Bristol City], we can look dangerous and can score goals from anywhere. It just shows the quality of the boys.”

Norwich City head coach David Wagner told BBC Radio Norfolk:

“We made some horrendous mistakes today, a lot of them, to be totally honest, in front of both goals.

“When it was 0-0 we had a great opportunity, when we were 1-0 down we had a great opportunity, but how we gave the goals away, how big the individual mistakes we made before we conceded them was horrendous.

“Then we lost our heads. We made a quick free-kick where we shouldn’t and a quick throw-in where we shouldn’t and then we conceded both times.

“We named a young squad today, but how they reacted in this situation was not good and they will learn from it.”



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Steffen
  • 14Smith
  • 17McNair
  • 26Lenihan
  • 3Giles
  • 16HowsonSubstituted forBarlaserat 84′minutes
  • 30HackneySubstituted forBolaat 83′minutes
  • 21ForssSubstituted forJonesat 68′minutes
  • 29AkpomSubstituted forCrooksat 84′minutes
  • 11A RamseySubstituted forMowattat 26′minutes
  • 10Archer


  • 2Jones
  • 4Mowatt
  • 7Barlaser
  • 15Dijksteel
  • 23Roberts
  • 25Crooks
  • 27Bola


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 28Gunn
  • 2Aarons
  • 4Omobamidele
  • 19SørensenBooked at 70mins
  • 15McCallumSubstituted forGiannoulisat 57′minutes
  • 17Gomes Sara
  • 46Gibbs
  • 13MarquinhosSubstituted forByramat 57′minutes
  • 24SargentSubstituted forNúñezat 84′minutes
  • 25HernándezSubstituted forRoweat 57′minutes
  • 22PukkiSubstituted forIdahat 57′minutes


  • 3Byram
  • 8Hayden
  • 11Idah
  • 26Núñez
  • 27Rowe
  • 30Giannoulis
  • 33McGovern

Josh Smith


Match Stats

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Match ends, Middlesbrough 5, Norwich City 1.

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