Middlesbrough 3-0 Huddersfield: Match Report
Middlesbrough 3-0 Huddersfield: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Scott the star in comfortable win
Scott McDonald's double helped Middlesbrough recover from back-to-back defeats as they recorded a convincing 3-0 win over an out-of-sorts Huddersfield.
Boro's impressive start to the campaign had hit a snag when they suffered successive losses to Cardiff and Bristol City, but they got back to winning ways in front of nearly 22,000 at the Riverside.
With Marvin Emnes and Ishmael Miller both on the bench, McDonald repaid manager Tony Mowbray's faith in starting him by stabbing home the opener.
Only the crossbar denied the hosts a second before the break as Huddersfield goalkeeper Alex Smithies pushed Peter Clarke's hacked clearance on to the woodwork.
Lukas Jutkiewicz and McDonald continued to cause the visitors' back four problems but it was Emmanuel Ledesma who got the second goal with a dipping free-kick just after the hour mark.
McDonald then fired in his second of the evening, Jutkiewicz once again grabbing the assist, to extend Huddersfield's winless streak to three games.
Both sides made changes from their weekend XIs and it was Huddersfield who were the more impressive starters.
After a couple of speculative efforts went wide, Jack Hunt's mazy run culminated in a vicious left-foot strike which just whistled over the top of the crossbar.
There was plenty of frustration for the home side early on as Josh McEachran and Ledesma failed to coax out their creative sides.
That all changed 28 minutes in, though, as McDonald turned in Jutkiewicz's centre for the opener.
Justin Hoyte burst into the box from his right-back berth and rolled the ball to Jutkiewicz, who in turn fired across goal where McDonald produced one of his predatory finishes.
Terriers captain Clarke then had his goalkeeper Smithies to thank just before the break as he spared the centre-back's blushes.
Jutkiewicz kept his head down when embarking on a run and was oblivious to the fact nobody in a red shirt was near his cut across, yet Clarke sliced his clearance towards goal and Smithies had to palm the ball on to the crossbar.
Smithies' opposite number Jason Steele also had to be alert to ensure Scott Arfield's dipping effort did not drop under his crossbar.
McDonald and Jutkiewicz almost combined to devastating effect once more minutes after the break but the latter dallied when the chance materialised, allowing Smithies to narrow the gap and make the save.
Manager Simon Grayson waited less than 10 minutes after the interval to make alterations for the visitors, introducing Adam Hammill and Chris Atkinson.
It did not prevent Boro's front two from threatening their goal once more, however, as Jutkiewicz displayed great strength to turn away from two men before teeing up McDonald, who smashed an effort narrowly wide.
The hosts did not have to wait much longer to double their advantage as Ledesma curled in a magical 25-yard free-kick.
The Argentinian earned the set piece himself, when he cajoled Paul Dixon into tripping him, and his curling effort dipped so low that Smithies could only push it into the roof of his net.
Jutkiewicz forced Smithies into a good save before he once more assumed his role as the provider for McDonald five minutes from time.
The visitors wanted play stopped with Hunt down on the ground injured but Boro continued unabated and Jutkiewicz's cushioned header down was drilled home by McDonald to wrap up the points.
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