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Key Events

90'
M. de Roon
Yellow Card
72'
P. Bamford
V. Fischer
1 - 2
64'
S. Long
Penalty Miss
57'
N. Redmond
J. Rodriguez
0 - 2
42'
J. Rodriguez
S. Long
0 - 1

Match Stats

Possession
41% 58%
5
6
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 3 4
Total Passes 367 522
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Key

UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League Qualifiers
UEFA Europa League
Relegation

Commentary

As for Southampton, they took their foot off the pedal slightly after the break but nonetheless remained on top throughout a contest that had a distinct end of season feel about it. Long enjoyed himself out on the right whilst Redmond caused problems after coming off the substitutes' bench, whilst, at the back, Pied and Caceres grew into the game as it wore on.
Middlesbrough are unable to end their home campaign with a win, and once again they suffer a disappointing and lacklustre defeat. They gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Bamford headed in his first goal since April 2015, but they were second best for most of the afternoon and, once again, failed to assert themselves inside the final third of the pitch.
FULL-TIME: MIDDLESBROUGH 1-2 SOUTHAMPTON
90' + 4' Bamford does well to win a free-kick for Middlesbrough midway down the right flank. It's swung into the penalty area by Fischer and finds Bamford once again, but this time the goalscorer's headed effort loops straight into the hands of Forster.
90' + 2' Huge opportunity for Rodriguez to wrap up the win! Davis weaves his way into the Middlesbrough box before setting up Rodriguez, who is in a pocket of space to his left. The striker takes a quick touch and then shoots, but his curls it a few yards wide of the far post.
90' + 1' Great strike by Chambers! The ball pinballs around the edge of the Southampton penalty area before falling to Chambers, who immediately unleashes a rocket of a shot. It looks set to find the back of the net, but Forster quickly dives to his left to stop the effort from resulting in a late equaliser.
M. de Roon
Yellow Card
90' The referee's yellow card is out once again, and this time it's De Roon who's booked after catching Pied with a late challenge over on the left wing as the Frenchman tried to break forward.
90' The fourth official has indicated that there will be four minutes of added time.
89' Clayton shows good footwork as he skips into the right-hand side of the Southampton box and quickly crosses, but Yoshida does well to get a head on the ball to stop it from reaching a red shirt in front of goal.
88' The resulting free-kick is eventually swung into the Middlesbrough penalty area and picks out Rodriguez in front of goal, but the striker can't make decent contact with the ball and sends his headed effort comfortably wide of its intended target.
C. Austin
S. Long
87' Long, who seems to have picked up a slight injury after being clattered into by Gibson, is forced off the pitch to be replaced by Charlie Austin, who comes on to make his first Premier League appearance since the start of December.
B. Gibson
Yellow Card
86' A poor first touch sends the ball away from Gibson and towards Long, who is immediately fouled by a clumsy sliding challenge as soon as he picks up possession.
85' Middlesbrough are trying their hardest to push forward as they attempt to carve out late chances on goal, but they're struggling to get the better of the visitors. Southampton have largely defended well this afternoon, and they're dropping progressively deeper as time goes on.
83' Southampton come back once again as Davis tries to carve his way through the sea of red in front of him, but he falls on the ball and handles it just outside of the Middlesbrough penalty area, resulting in a free-kick for the home sides that they quickly lump forward.
81' After a few nervy minutes on the back foot, Southampton are able to win themselves a corner over on the left flank. It fails to result in a chance on goal, though, as Bertrand's cross into the box is easily dealt with before Yoshida is penalised for a shove on Negredo.
79' Almost another opportunity for Bamford! Middlesbrough keep putting pressure on Southampton as they desperately try to find a late equaliser, but a clever pass into the box isn't controlled well enough by Bamford, who carelessly knocks the ball out of play before he can get a shot away.
78' Leadbitter is clumsily pushed to the ground, resulting in a free-kick for Middlesbrough midway inside the Southampton half of the pitch. It's curled into the box and looks set to find De Roon, but Pied is just about able to get a head on the ball to send it away from the Dutchman.
76' Long does well to carve out a bit of space for himself deep down the right flank before swinging a cross into the Middlesbrough box, but it's underhit and fails to get the better of Gibson at the near post.
S. Davis
P. Højbjerg
74' Southampton have decided to make an alteration, with Hojbjerg making way for Steven Davis.
V. Fischer
Assist
72' The cross in from Fischer was brilliant and picked out Bamford perfectly, but questions have to be asked of the Southampton defence, who stood like statues in front of goal.
P. Bamford
Goal
72' GOAL! Middlesbrough have pulled one back! Fischer's cross in from the corner is an excellent one and picks out Bamford, who remains rooted to the spot as he glances a header into the left-hand side of the net to give the home fans something to smile about.
71' Middlesbrough are starting to push further forward as Southampton take their foot off the pedal slightly. This time it's Fabio who gets himself into a promising position before swinging a cross over to Friend, who rises high and sends his headed effort out for a corner.
69' Clayton fires a great pass into the feet of De Roon on the edge of the Southampton penalty area. The Dutchman has his back to goal but spins quickly before shooting, and his effort goes close to causing problems for Forster, who has had little to do today.
68' Redmond almost makes it 3-0! Once again, the substitute causes all sorts of problems out wide before cutting inside and shooting, but this time his thumping effort flies just a yard or so over the top of the crossbar.
67' Space opens up for Fabio, who charges down the right flank before trying to pick out Fischer over on the left wing. The ball looks set to find the Dane just outside of the box, but, just as it's about to do so, Pied sticks out a foot to cut out the danger.
A. Clayton
Yellow Card
66' An attempted Middlesbrough attack fails to result in a chance on goal, allowing Southampton to counter quickly. Rodriguez easily gets the better of Clayton as he cuts inside from the right wing, but the midfielder ends up cynically dragging him back by his shirt to earn himself a yellow card.
S. Long
Penalty Miss
64' MISS! Long steps up and sends Guzan diving the wrong way with his thumping strike, but there's far too much power behind it and it clips the top of the crossbar on its way over.
63' PENALTY! The afternoon has gone from bad to worse for Middlesbrough after Guzan rushes out and brings Long crashing to the ground with a clumsy challenge as the striker battled with Gibson.
62' Another hopeful ball is fired up towards the Southampton penalty area and manages to bounce into the path of Bamford, but the striker isn't able to get it under control and loses possession with a heavy first touch.
V. Fischer
S. Downing
60' And the second is Viktor Fischer, who takes the place of Stewart Downing to make his first appearance of 2017.
G. Leadbitter
A. Forshaw
60' Middlesbrough have made a double change as they try to get back into the contest. The first player to come on is Grant Leadbitter, who replaces Forshaw.
59' Middlesbrough, who clearly look demoralised after having such a difficult afternoon, quickly try to get themselves back into the game from the restart, but they're unable to carve out a chance on goal and Yoshida is easily able to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick.
J. Rodriguez
Assist
57' The build-up play from Southampton was excellent before Rodriguez picked out Remond with a clever pass, but the Middlesbrough defence were all over the place and really should have done better to deal with the danger. Fabio was nowhere to be seen.
N. Redmond
Goal
57' GOAL! It's another for Southampton! Redmond, who has caused plenty of problems since coming on to the pitch, is left all alone over the left-hand side of the penalty area. He picks up the ball in acres of space and cuts on to his right foot before shooting, and his curling strike flies past Guzan before finding the top right-hand corner of the net.
55' Big chance for Bamford! A lofted pass is fired into the Southampton box and finds Negredo with his back to goal. The striker rises high and nods the ball down to Bamford, who quickly shoots and fires his first-time half-volley high over the top of the crossbar. He really should have done better with that!
53' Friend gets the better of Pied as he skips into the Southampton box, but he's unable to get the better of Caceres and has to settle for a corner. The set-piece fails to result in a chance on goal, however, and Fabio eventually knocks a poor pass out for a throw-in.
51' More good play by Redmond almost sets up Rodriguez with a great opportunity to shoot, but the winger's through-ball into the penalty area is slightly overhit and rolls into the hands of Guzan before it can find the striker in front of goal.
49' Redmond makes an immediate impact as he charges into the left-hand side of the Middlesbrough penalty area before trying to set up Rodriguez, but he's closed down by Chambers at the vital moment and fails to get the better of the centre-back.
47' Southampton quickly push forward down the left wing, where a dangerous cross is swung over towards Long at the far post. The Irishman rises high and meets the ball well, but his close-range headed effort is deflected wide of the goal and out for a corner.
N. Redmond
S. Boufal
46' Southampton have made one substitution during the half-time break, with Nathan Redmond coming on to replace Boufal.
46' We're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half.
A few boos ring around the Riverside as the two sets of players make their way off the pitch. After already having their relegation confirmed, the locals would have been hoping for a much better display from their side as they try to end the season with a couple of positive results, but they've struggled again this afternoon and have to head into the half-time break 1-0 down. Southampton haven't been at their best either, but they've done well to cause a few problems for the home side and deservedly lead thanks to a well-worked goal late on.
HALF-TIME: MIDDLESBROUGH 0-1 SOUTHAMPTON
45' + 3' Southampton are able to win themselves a late free-kick after another clumsy challenge is committed in a dangerous position, but the low shot from the set-piece is poorly hit and bounces straight into the hands of Guzan.
45' + 2' Middlesbrough push plenty of bodies forward as they desperately try to find an equaliser before half-time, but Forshaw brings the attacking move to a disappointing end with a long-range effort that sails comfortably wide of its intended target.
45' The fourth official has indicated that there will be two minutes of added time.
44' Negredo battles hard deep down the right wing as he puts Bertrand under pressure and tries to win his side a corner, but he's unable to get the better of the full-back and ends up knocking the ball behind for a goal-kick.
S. Long
Assist
42' Long did really well to cause problems for the Middlesbrough back line by dragging Gibson out wide. That created plenty of space for Rodriguez, who was left all alone in front of goal and easily managed to link up with the Irishman.
J. Rodriguez
Goal
42' GOAL! Southampton have taken the lead! Bamford gets back to his feet and the game gets underway with a Southampton attack down the right wing. Long drifts out wide and picks up the ball before firing a low cross straight to Rodriguez, who meets it well on the penalty spot before firing a low strike past the outstretched limbs of Guzan.
41' A looping cross is fired over to the far post and looks set to find Bamford, who rises high but is beaten in the air by Pied. The Frenchman meets the ball well before accidentally crashing into the Middlesbrough striker, leaving him in a heap on the floor and in serious discomfort. It looks as if he's going to be able to continue, though.
40' Southampton move the ball around nicely just outside of the Middlesbrough box as Pied, Long and Boufal all link up well. The latter then spins past two defenders before swinging in a cross, but it's slightly underhit and fails to cause too many problems for the home side.
38' Gibson makes a mistake by letting a lofted pass forward bounce in front of him, allowing Long to get a touch on the ball before being dragged to the ground by the Middlesbrough centre-back. Once again, a shoot is taken from the set-piece, but Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's strike is deflected into the air and down to Rodriguez, who then sends a downward header straight into the hands of Guzan.
36' Lucky escape for Caceres! Not for the first time today, the centre-back is caught in a dangerous position inside his own half of the pitch. De Roon quickly plays a one-two with Negredo before trying to penetrate the penalty area, but his run forward is slightly mistimed and the linesman's flag is raised as a result.
34' Jordy Clasie picks up the ball just outside of the Middlesbrough penalty area and quickly tries to unleash a shot, but he's immediately clattered into from behind by Clayton and wins a free-kick for his side. Bertrand decides to shoot from the set-piece, but his strike smashes into the face of Negredo and over to the left wing.
32' Vital stop by Guzan! A bit of space opens up for Long, allowing the striker to link up with Rodriguez before trying to fizz a low pass across the face of goal. He can't get the better of Guzan, though, as the American sticks out a long arm to deal with the danger.
30' The tables seem to have turned, and it's now Middlesbrough who are on the front foot once again. Pied's able to get himself into a good position over on the right flank, however, after a period of being pinned back, but his cross into the penalty area is poor and fails to cause any problems for Guzan.
28' Southampton are unable to break out of their own half of the pitch and fully clear the danger, allowing Middlesbrough to push forward once again. They initially do well to get towards the penalty area before Bamford tries to muscle his way into the box, but he accidentally handles the ball and concedes a free-kick.
26' Negredo steps up and shoots, but his curling effort deflects off the wall and out for a corner. Adam Forshaw swings in a well-placed cross that finds Friend at the far post, but, under pressure from Yoshida, the defender is unable to hit the target with his close-range header.
25' More poor passing inside the Southampton half of the pitch gifts possession to Middlesbrough. Clayton breaks forward and manages to tee up Bamford before being fouled, and as soon as the striker's 25-yard shot is easily saved by Forster, the referee awards the home side a free-kick in a promising position.
23' Long gets himself into a good position over on the right flank before curling a lovely cross into the middle of the box. Chambers doesn't deal with it well enough and allows the ball to bounce over to Bertrand, who quickly shoots but sends his scuffed effort well wide of the goal.
22' Almost an opportunity for Negredo! Romeu is dispossessed by Clayton on the halfway line and Middlesbrough quickly break away on a counter-attack. Clayton charges forward before setting up Fabio, who then fires a bouncing cross over to Negredo at the far post. It looks as if the Spaniard is going to be able to get a shot away, but, just as he tries to, Pied dives in the way to stop the striker.
20' A swinging cross from Pied is deflected out of play and behind for a corner. Boufal steps up and curls a dangerous cross into the heart of the penalty area, where it finds Caceres, but the defender's header is mistimed and loops over the top of the crossbar.
19' After a few minutes on the touchline, Chambers makes his way back on to the pitch. He's immediately called into action by a volleyed cross from Bertrand, but he's successfully able to shepherd the ball into the hands of Brad Guzan at the near post.
17' Chambers gingerly limps off the pitch to receive medical treatment, and the play gets underway once again. Southampton move the ball around quickly as they try to make their numerical advantage count, but Fabio is easily able to bring the attempted attacking move to an end.
15' There's an early scare for Middlesbrough, as Chambers is currently lying in a heap on the ground after going down off the ball. He seems to be holding his foot, which has given him plenty of problems in the past.
14' Bamford picks up the ball with his back to goal just outside of the Southampton box as the home side try to carve out a chance on goal. The striker initially does well to wriggle away from his marker before trying to get the better of Romeu, but the Spaniard sticks to him like glue and is easily able to win the ball back.
12' After a slightly slow start to the game, Southampton are starting to push further forward as they put the Middlesbrough defence under pressure. The hosts are almost having to play with a back six as they try to deal with Bertrand and Pied, both of whom are enjoying themselves when bombing down the wings.
10' Ouch! Caceres is caught in possession and almost gives away the ball in a dangerous position inside his own half of the pitch. Oriol Romeu does well to help out his team-mate before being clattered into by De Roon, who sends the Spaniard crashing to the ground with a late sliding challenge.
9' Jeremy Pied is able to push forward for the first time this afternoon before whipping a low cross into the box, where it's blasted out for a throw-in by Gibson. Sofiane Boufal then tries to fire in a cross of his own, but this time George Friend is there to cut out the danger.
7' A misplaced pass by Fabio can only find Jay Rodriguez, and Southampton quickly break forward on a counter-attack. The striker ploughs through the middle of the pitch before linking up with Shane Long, who's immediately closed down by both Marten de Roon and Adam Clayton and fails to get the better of the duo.
5' Ryan Bertrand is left in acres of space deep down the left wing and is able to curl a cross into the Middlesbrough penalty area. It's poorly hit by the full-back, however, and fails to beat Calum Chambers on the edge of the box.
4' Middlesbrough keep pushing forward as they enjoy a good start to the game. This time it's Fabio who cuts inside from the right wing before teeing up Bamford, but the forward's first touch is heavy and allows Yoshida to deal with the danger.
2' Early chance for Patrick Bamford! Alvaro Negredo lifts a looping pass over Maya Yoshida and into the path of Bamford. The striker is in an excellent position in front of goal and quickly tries to shoot, but he's closed down and dispossessed by Martin Caceres before he's able to test Fraser Forster.
1' We're off! Middlesbrough get us underway, attacking from right to left.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
There’s also a place on the Southampton substitutes’ bench for Charlie Austin, who, after being ravaged by injury, could come on to make his first appearance for the club since the end of last year.
Meanwhile, Southampton boss Claude Puel has made seven alterations to the team that featured in their last outing, with the most notable inclusions being Jeremy Pied and Martin Caceres, both of whom are set to make their first starts for the club in place of Cedric Soares and Jack Stephens. Also left out are Steven Davis, James Ward-Prowse, Dusan Tadic, Nathan Redmond and Manolo Gabbiadini, with Jordy Clasie, Pierre-Emil Hojbjerg, Jay Rodgriez, Shane Long and Sofiane Boufal being handed starts instead.
Steve Agnew has decided to make just one change to the Middlesbrough side that started the defeat against Chelsea at the start of the week, with Patrick Bamford coming into the starting line-up to replace Adama Traore.
Southampton substitutes: Hassen, Stephens, Targett, Ward-Prowse, Davis, Redmond, Austin.
Southampton XI (4-3-3): Forster; Pied, Caceres, Yoshida, Bertrand; Clasie, Romeu, Hojbjerg; Rodriguez, Long, Boufal.
Middlesbrough substitutes: Konstantopoulos, Bernardo, Barragan, Leadbitter, Fischer, Traore, Stuani.
Middlesbrough XI (4-2-3-1): Guzan; Fabio, Chambers, Gibson, Friend; De Roon, Clayton; Bamford, Forshaw, Downing; Negredo.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this afternoon…
Wednesday evening’s 2-0 defeat at home to Arsenal proved to be a drab affair, and it means that Southampton are now without a win in their last five Premier League outings. Another poor result here this afternoon would see the disappointing run turn into their worst since December 2013, resulting in more questions being asked about under-pressure boss Claude Puel, who could well be sacked come the end of the season.
Middlesbrough’s struggles in front of goal played a significant role in sealing their relegation, and their disappointing goalscoring record hands Southampton a chance to end the season on a high. Despite sitting in a respectable 10th place, the Saints haven’t managed to hit the heights of last year, and they’re currently 12 points worse off than they were at this stage 12 months ago.
It’s been a long and difficult campaign for Middlesbrough, who, despite boasting a formidable defence (their record of conceding 48 goals is better than nine of the 10 teams placed above them), struggled to do enough to avoid the drop. With just five wins and 28 points to their name, they’re in danger of ending the season with the poorest record of any 19th-place finisher since West Bromwich Albion in 2003.
With one side already relegated and the other firmly placed in the middle of the table, this afternoon’s clash is set to have a noticeably end of the season feel to it. For Middlesbrough, they’ll be playing for pride after Monday evening’s 3-0 defeat away to Chelsea sent them back down to the Championship, whilst Southampton will be aiming to end a lacklustre season in the top half of the table.
Good afternoon and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Premier League game between Middlesbrough and Southampton at the Riverside Stadium.