Report: Middlesbrough 0 Albion 2Albion secured their first victory over Middlesbrough since 1990 in terrific 2-0 win, thanks to second-half strikes from Andrea Orlandi and David Lopez.
Having drawn three games in a row, Gus Poyet highlighted the need for three wins from five to secure a promotion spot, and his side responded with an excellent away victory.
After a stalemate of a first half Albion came out with a clear agenda of winning the game after the break, and Orlandi’s fine strike gave the Seagulls the lead on 60 minutes, before David wrapped up the points late on.
The first shot in venom came from David on 10 minutes who, after excellent control from Wayne Bridge’s raking diagonal ball, cut inside only to see his deflected shot held by Luke Steele.
Middlesbrough fired back through Richard Smallwood, as the midfielder’s drive from distance was gathered by Casper Ankergren; the Dane recalled in the Albion goal to deputise for Tomasz Kuszczak.
Orlandi then saw a shot from inside the box blocked before David was flagged offside when played in by his fellow Spaniard.
Albion hearts were in their mouths as Scott McDonald’s shot took a wicked deflection of Andrew Crofts, but the ball dropped safely wide.
Boro and Andy Halliday in particular wanted a penalty after grappling for a loose ball in the area but ref Scott Mathieson waved away the protest.
Halliday was shortly involved again as he flashed a powerful strike wide as the first 45 finished goalless.
As the second half got underway Dean Hammond almost gave Poyet the perfect start as he chested down Leonardo Ulloa’s cross, but the Southampton loanee was unable to find the target with his shot on the turn.
Bridge burst down the left moments later, but his cut-back evaded everyone and Boro launched a quick counter attack, which culminated in McDonald, in plenty of space in the area, screwing his shot over.
The Seagulls were in the ascendancy and grabbed a deserved lead on the hour. David fed Hammond down the right, who played a perfect low cross into the path of the on-rushing Orlandi who expertly steered the ball home.
Albion nearly extended their lead six minutes later as twice Ulloa was a whisker away from connecting to crosses from firstly David, then Orlandi.
Gordon Greer then made a terrific tackle up the other end with McDonald poised to unleash a shot just inside the box, and the Scottish defender was on hand again to make a magnificent block from Curtis Main’s arrowed effort.
Then David prompted an exodus of the natives on 76 minutes. Liam Bridcutt’s pin-point ball sent the Spaniard through, and the former Bilbao man showed all the composure in the world as he chipped the ball over Steele.
Greer and Ankergren denied the hosts a route back into the game, with Greer blocking McDonald’s close-range strike and the Danish keeper comfortably denying Main’s rebound.
Main came close once more but it was Albion’s day as they consolidated their play-off spot.