Middlesbrough overcame the challenge of Sheffield Wednesday by beating the Owls 1-0 at the Riverside to top the table going into the new year.
Midfielder Cristian Stuani scored 44 seconds into the match, after a tremendous cross from England international, Stewart Downing.
Wednesday pushed for an equaliser in the remaining 89 minutes the match, but left the North East with nothing to take back home. Boro are now two points ahead of their closest challengers Derby, but the Rams face Leeds United tonight and a win would see them overtake the Reds’ position.
Aitor Karanka took to the Middlesbrough dugout for the 100th time yesterday, and was “very proud” with his side’s performance.
Boro fans were chuffed to bits with the result, many happy with the recent defensive displays with the Reds not conceding in over 600 minutes:
— Lynne Pogue (@lynpogue) December 28, 2015
— Taku (@TakusRanting) December 28, 2015
— Lewis kirtley (@LewisKirtley1) December 28, 2015
— Peter McCormick (@petermac84) December 28, 2015
— jordan lee (@jordielee8) December 28, 2015
50 clean sheets in 100 games under AK is some goin aswel, when he arrived we used to let 1 in every game between 80-90 min! #boro
— Mendi (@mendi14) December 28, 2015
#boro impressive again, if only in the way they defend as a team. Whatever the doubters say, the players are solid in AK's style and system.
— Paul Fraser (@paulfraserecho) December 28, 2015
Wednesday supporters weren’t so happy with the side’s first half performance, although they seemed content with the second:
— Gardiner (@gardiner1985) December 29, 2015
Been tonight, not impressed with carvahals excuses and then that team, played well 2nd half, Manager needs to sort out away form #swfc
— Sam (@Sam_Haynes) December 28, 2015
#swfc just got home can't keep starting slow. First half was a shambles. Let's not get carried away after a defeat
— Adam (@BROADY_SWFC) December 28, 2015
— David Garrido (@SkySportsDavid) December 28, 2015