On any other day Manchester City losing at home to a Championship team would be the top story, so City have a lot to thank Chelsea for in that respect! It may not have been as entertaining as the Chelsea vs Bradford City match but lets not take anything away from a superb performance from an increasingly impressive Middlesbrough team.
Boro are currently flying high in the Championship and are gaining in confidence under the leadership of Spaniard Aitor Karanka. Even so, this looked to be a step too far against a Man City team who are also now in good form after a slow start to the season. City may not have had all their big guns starting but it was nevertheless a strong City line up, particularly with a fit again Sergio Augero returning up front.
City started the game brightly and forced a number of great saves from 'Boro keeper, Tomas Mejias, who was in for the rested Dimi Konstantopoulos. He made a string of fine saves the best of which kept out fierce long range drives first from James Milner and then David Silva. City then had strong claim for a penalty after defender Daniel Ayala used his arm to block a Kolarov run but referee Phil Dowd couldn't see it. So despite all their first half dominance City had nothing to show for it at the break.
Middlesbrough started the 2nd half looking much sharper and on 53 minutes Albert Adomah determinedly chased down Vincent Kompany's under-hit back-pass and as the balled lurched towards the goal line, Patrick Bamford (on loan from Chelsea), slid in to force the ball home. Not the prettiest of goals but that did not bother the travelling army of Middlesbrough in the slightest!
The game then flowed from end to end with City having the lion's share of possession but Boro looking very dangerous on the break. Indeed Lee Tomlin was so unlucky to hit the inside of the post after a beautiful turn to leave Kompany for dead! Next it was City's turn to strike the woodwork as substitute Frank Lampard's deflected shot also came back off the inside of the post!
As the game moved in to injury time City pushed on to try and save their blushes for a 2nd season running. However, it was substitute Kike who calmly struck a second on the break for the visitors ensuring they progress to the next round (holding on to keep a sixth clean sheet in seven games in the process).
Hit the images below to see more details of our Middlesbrough gifts created especially to celebrate this stunning victory...