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Álvaro Negredo (50)
A. Sánchez (42)
M. Özil (71)
Middlesbrough v Arsenal Live Commentary,
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Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Alvaro Negredo canceled each other out, but a late strike from Mesut Ozil helps Arsenal to three points at the Riverside Stadium, as they keep their top-four hopes alive for now, while the defeat leaves Middlesbrough's Premier League status hanging by a thread. That's all for our live coverage, thanks for following along. Goodbye!
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME: MIDDLESBROUGH 1-2 ARSENAL.
90' + 2'
Great individual run from Oxlade-Chamberlain, but he's too selfish in the end as he ignores the team-mates waiting in the centre for a pass, instead trying to squeeze a shot in at the near post, but Guzan has it covered.
Hector Bellerin comes on to provide fresh legs in defence, replacing Mesut Ozil.
Time-wasting changes here from Arsenal, the first of which sees Francis Coquelin replace Alexis Sanchez.
The fourth official raises his board to indicate there will be four minutes added on at the end of this match.
THAT WAS THE CHANCE! Poor defending from Arsenal from a set-piece as Friend is able to get on the end of the delivery and knock it across the face of goal. Gibson arrives to meet it, but Giroud does just enough to put him off and take some of the sting out of the shot, as Cech is able to get down to his left and make the save!
STAT: Arsenal have lost four successive Premier League away games for the first time in Arsene Wenger’s reign at the club, with the previous run of four league away defeats in a row coming back in April 1995.
Better here from Middlesbrough, but two fine defensive plays from Holding and Monreal prove vital in snuffing out the hosts' latest attack. Groans can be heard now around the Riverside as the creeping threat of relegation continues to transform itself into reality.
Gestede goes into the book as Boro's frustrations continue to manifest themselves here in the closing stages of the match.
The hosts aren't posing any attacking threat here as we break into the final 10 minutes, with the match still largely being played in their half of the pitch. They need to get creative and can't be so reluctant to commit everyone forward. It's now or never for them.
M. de Roon
Boro's final substitution of the night sees Rudy Gestede replace De Roon. They're going for it now. Meanwhile, Arsenal have yet to make a change tonight.
The one thing Boro have going for them is that goal difference isn't an issue, so they can push as many bodies forward as they like without doing any harm to themselves by conceding again. They've been starved of goals all season though, so two in the final 13 minutes here seems a bit of a daunting task.
You have to wonder at what point Middlesbrough might start getting down on themselves. They have a long way to go to salvage their Premier League status, and nights like these don't help their cause. Desperation will surely start creeping in here in the final stages of the match.
STAT: Middlesbrough have conceded more goals against Arsenal than against any other opponent in the Premier League - 64 in 30 games, including this one.
Ramsey provides the assist, cleverly chesting the ball down into the path of Ozil.
ARSENAL BACK IN FRONT! As timely a goal as there is from Ozil, who produces a splendid finish at the near post off a cushioned setup from Ramsey on the end of Sanchez's cross! It's another massive blow to Boro's survival hopes.
Arsenal pushing the pace now as they poke and probe for the goal they need to restore their lead. Everything they do in attack is coming through Sanchez, who has adopted a central role as he pulls the strings with the Gunners in possession - but Traore and his fresh legs also look dangerous for the hosts.
Adama Traore is on to try and tilt the game in Middlesbrough's favour here, replacing Gaston Ramirez who has just returned from an injury.
It's become much more open of a match in the last 10 minutes, and you can understand why. A draw does no favours for these clubs, both in dire need of three points, so they're really going for it as a result. It's shaping up to be an entertaining conclusion.
GREAT STUFF FROM GUZAN! Sanchez probes the Boro defence and picks out a splendid througball for Ozil, who tries to nick the ball beyond the onrushing Guzan, but the keeper does so well to spread himself and deny the midfielder from going through on goal!
STAT: Middlesbrough are unbeaten in their last four Premier League home games against Arsenal (W2 D2), although this will be the first meeting at the Riverside since December 2008.
SOMEHOW IT STAYS OUT! Arsenal all over the place at the moment and Middlesbrough are threatening to take advantage! A free-kick is headed back into the danger area by Friend, where it's met by Ayala, who must have thought surely he had a goal, but Cech denies him on the line from point-blank range!
There's renewed life inside the Riverside Stadium! They sense their side are up against an Arsenal team there for the taking. The Gunners' psyche has been fractured once again, making it so crucial that they find a way to settle in and get that goal back.
Nearly a second in quick succession for the hosts! Friend goes on a lovely jaunt down the left and his deflected cross falls kindly for Downing at the far post, but he lifts his effort over the bar! Big chance squandered there for the ex-Liverpool man!
Arsenal are in a very fragile state and this goal will do them no favours as their psyche is shaken yet again. That's not necessarily a deserved equaliser, but Boro certainly don't warrant being behind given how they've played either. Game on!
STAT: Middlesbrough are the least threatening side in front of goal in the Premier League this season; scoring just 22 goals and attempting only 78 shots on target in 31 games (less than three a match on average).
Brilliant run and delivery from Downing who provides the assist.
PARITY RESTORED AT THE RIVERSIDE! Downing has burst onto the scene in this second half and he's the architect of their equaliser! The winger breaks quickly up the pitch and provides a stunning ball in for Negredo who gets behind his man to guide home a smart first-time finish!
Middlesbrough come out of the break with a bit of intensity, and a great move from Downing sees them win an early corner. The subsequent delivery is met by De Roon, but his header glances harmlessly wide for a goal-kick.
Back underway at the Riverside Stadium!
Alexis Sanchez's exquisite free-kick has Arsenal in front at the interval, at the end of what was a fairly monotonous first half at the Riverside Stadium, as Middlesbrough's Premier League status is hanging by a thread.
45' + 2'
HALF-TIME: MIDDLESBROUGH 0-1 ARSENAL.
The fourth official indicates there will be two minutes added on at the end of this match.
Dreadful effort from Leadbitter who completely botches the height of his free-kick. It's too low to get over the wall and too high to get under it, as it smacks straight into the midriff of the Arsenal defenders before being easily cleared.
Gabriel's high-boot sees him into the book, and Middlesbrough have a chance to hit back straight away from the resulting free-kick, the same distance from goal as Sanchez's, but a bit more off to the left.
STUNNING FROM SANCHEZ AND ARSENAL LEAD! A trademark hit from the Chilean who picks up a crucial goal for Arsenal! Sanchez gets his free-kick up and down so quickly, beating the wall and leaving Guzan rooted to his spot as he guides an effort into the top corner!
Arsenal win a free-kick of their own in a threatening area on the left, but Ozil's delivery is too close to Guzan who manages to punch clear. Pressure stays on, however, and Xhaka does really well to win another free-kick, this one dead-centre of the pitch, just over 20 yards from goal...
STAT: Arsenal are 14 points behind Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League table coming in to this matchday; the first time they've been 14+ points behind them in the league table since May 5th 1963 (also 14).
Fervent appeals from Middlesbrough following Ramsey's scissor-challenge on Clayton. It's a dangerous one no doubt, as he catches the Boro midfielder in the shin, but somehow escapes without a booking. The ensuing free-kick is lifted into the area by Leadbitter, but Arsenal clear their lines.
Through 35 minutes and it's been an evenly contested match, but not in the attractive or entertaining sense, rather that neither side have been able to take charge. Both sides are focused more on keeping their shape and not conceding, as the timid nature at which they're approaching this match has really plagued the watchability factor.
VITAL TACKLE! That's the best move of the night thus far from Arsenal, coming down the right-hand side. The low cross comes in from Koscielny for Giroud to attack, but Leadbitter tracks back superbly to slide in and break it up!
Defensively Boro are a stout and accomplished unit, but their attacking woes are the reason they find themselves in this precarious position in advance of the final month of the season. They have scored by far the fewest goals this season and you can see why in this first half - no creativity and lacking a general sense or idea going forward.
STAT: Prior to the 0-0 draw in this season’s reverse fixture, Arsenal had scored in 16 consecutive Premier League games against Middlesbrough, winning 10 of those (D4 L2).
Decent effort from Ramsey at the end of a determined bit of play from Giroud to knock a header down into the midfielder's path. It bounces awkwardly for Ramsey, but he does well to take, only to see his effort blocked aside as Guzan was readying himself for a save.
The match has lacked any real tempo through the opening 25 minutes. Injuries and stoppages have prevented it from taking on any sort of rhythm, but Boro have done their part as well to ensure taking the sting out of the match.
Offside! Muted protests from Boro as De Roon's header finds the back of the net, only to be disallowed by the offside flag. It was a smart and perfectly placed ball in from Ramirez, but De Roon was a good couple of feet behind the defence when it was played in.
Arsenal dominating possession now as they start to pin Middlesbrough back in their own end. They're not posing much of a threat still, as they've lacked the creativity to find a way through the mess of red shirts in defence.
STAT: Over each team’s last eight Premier League games, only West Ham (5), Sunderland (4) and Middlesbrough (3) have earned fewer points than Arsenal (7).
Scary scenes as Fabio burries his face in his hands as he walks to the tunnel. George Friend, who has only just returned to the bench tonight from an injury of his own, replaces him.
Fabio is still down and being attended to - an ominous sign for the full-back who has started very well tonight. He looks a bit dazed as he slowly makes his way off the pitch, before going to ground again once he gets to the touchline. Arsenal just get play going again, and it looks like Boro are preparing to make a change.
Arsenal are struggling to get a foothold in the match. The Middlesbrough defence has had it easy thus far, combating every Arsenal attack with determination and vigor. As the Gunners slowly start to get a bit of a rhythm going, they're forced to put the ball out of play as Fabio goes down, grabbing his head - a scary sign for a player only just back from a concussion.
Boro are doing well to push the pace here, and craft the first threatening attack of the night as Negredo gets on the end of it and plays himself through on goal. The striker's touch is just too heavy, however, as Cech is able to collect and deny the opportunity.
STAT: Arsenal haven’t lost five successive top-flight away games since December 26th 1984. The only Arsenal players to have appeared in the Premier League this season and be alive when this happened were Petr Cech (2 years, 220 days old) and Santi Cazorla (13 days old).
Grant Leadbitter replies to Oxlade-Chamberlain's early yellow with one of his own, taking out Ozil after a clever nutmeg from the Arsenal midfielder - and now Leadbitter is down in need of attention, adding injury to insult.
Middlesbrough look the more threatening side in the early stages, albeit marginally, as they squander an opportunity from a set-piece. Arsenal get back the other way, but Guzan comes off his line calmly to see away the threat. It's yet to really get going at the Riverside.
An early yellow card is shown to Oxlade-Chamberlain, who looks a bit out of place with the defensive responsibilities that come with the full-back position. He trips up a sprinting Fabio and will be walking a tight line the rest of the way now.
The first goal tonight is of vital importance - a cliche if there ever was one, but absolutely imperative tonight. Arsenal, fragile and lacking confidence, cannot afford to concede first or thoughts of "here we go again" will rattle through their minds. For Middlesbrough, they have been starved of goals this season, so having to come from behind will be far from ideal.
AND THEY'RE OFF! Arsenal in their yellow away strip as they get the game underway, attacking left to right, with Middlesbrough in red.
Arsene Wenger makes a healthy six changes following their embarrassing defeat to Crystal Palace. Petr Cech (calf) and Laurent Koscielny (Achilles) return from injury at the expense of Emiliano Martinez and Shkodran Mustafi. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starts at full-back ahead of Hector Bellerin, while Rob Holding comes into a three-man backline as Theo Walcott drops to the bench. Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud are also restored, with Mohamed Elneny and Danny Welbeck dropped.
Steve Agnew makes five changes to his side from the 0-0 draw with Burnley. Brad Guzan starts ahead of Victor Valdes in goal, while Fabio comes into defence at the expense of Bernardo Espinosa as they switch to a more standard back four. Marten de Roon is restored in midfield, while Alvaro Negredo and Gaston Ramirez come into attack, replacing Adam Forshaw, Cristhian Stuani and Rudy Gestede.
SUBS: Gibbs, Walcott, Iwobi, Bellerin, Martinez, Coquelin, Elneny.
ARSENAL (3-4-3): Cech; Gabriel, Koscielny, Holding; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Monreal; Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud.
SUBS: Konstantopoulos, Friend, Espinosa, Bamford, Gestede, Forshaw, Traore.
MIDDLESBROUGH (4-3-3): Guzan; Barragan, Ayala, Gibson, Fabio; Clayton, De Roon, Leadbitter; Ramirez, Downing, Negredo.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
A managerial change has not helped Middlesbrough’s cause, as they come into tonight’s match six points from safety. Steve Agnew’s side do have two games in hand over Hull and Swansea, as well as a considerably better goal differential, but time isn’t on their side to complete the great escape.
At the dawn of 2017, Middlesbrough were hardly considered a leading candidate for relegation. Now, having not won in the league since December 17, Boro come into tonight’s match against an equally reeling Arsenal side with their backs against the wall.
If there wasn’t enough uncertainty surrounding the club already, last Monday’s putrid and uninspired defeat away to Palace exposed just how sad the current state is in the Arsenal camp. Now, 10 points back of the top-four, their character, or lack thereof, is put to the test once again.
Successive Monday night away matches against clubs fighting for the Premier League lives is far from ideal for Arsene Wenger and the Gunners, but at this point, what is? Arsenal look a defeated team as their 20-year run of finishing in the top-four looks in serious doubt.
Hello and welcome to live coverage from the Riverside Stadium as Middlesbrough fight for survival when they host an Arsenal side aiming to halt an embarrassing slide out of Europe.