Middlesbrough vs. Liverpool live online: Match report and action
An Adam Lallana double helped Liverpool jump up to second place as they beat Middlesbrough 2-0 at the Riverside on Wednesday night
Middlesbrough 0-3 Liverpool: Full time report
Despite not being fully convinced of Liverpool's first half display, they showed their attacking intent and ability in the second half with goals from Divock Origi and Adam Lallana. They pressed Middlesbrough to the point that the home side could not get out of their own half and created chance after chance before Origi finally struck to, effectively, kill the game.
Origi's goal was an excellent team effort with Wijnaldum, Mane and Lallana linking up before it found it's way to the Belgium. Lallana's second was equally as impressive with the most dangerous player on the field, Sadio Mane, breaking through Middlesbrough's defence. He was fouled but play continued as Origi had it and Liveprool were on the front foot. He squared to Lallana, who made no mistake for his second and Liveprool's third of the game.
The only blot on Liveprool's night was Divock Origi being forced off near the end. He has solidified himself as Klopp's first choice striker but if his injury is anyway severe, he might be missing for Liveprool's games over the Christmas period.
Middlesbrough 0-3 Liverpool: Second half
FT - Game over as Liveprool run out comfortable winners
Liverpool substitution - Worrying for Liverpool as Arnold replaces Origi. He is injured and has a chat to Klopp as he comes off before they hug it out on the sideline. Klopp will be hoping the injury isn't too bad.
Min 89 | Downing throws a corss high into the box. It's so long in the air that by the time it comes down, Traore is under it but he mistimes his jump and just falls into the ball. There aren't too many more ineffective ways to try and score a goal than that effort by Traore.
Liverpool substitution - Wijnaldum is replaced by Ovie Ejaria.
Min 85 | Traore again goes by Milner but it's that final phase that is letting him down. He is closed down and bloked by Klaven this time. A really frustrating night for the former Barcelona player but he has been Middlesbrough's only hope.
Liverpool substitution - Lallana, at the double, is given a break for the last ten. He is replaced by Lucas Leiva in a defensive switch by Klopp. Time to strangle the life out of this game.
Min 79 | Middlesbrough pushing forward a little but more but Liverpool cool at the back and deal with any pressure. The continue to attack with purpose too. Strengely, Jurgen Klopp has opted not to make any changes yet. With a game at the weekend and the hectic Christmas schedule, you might expect him to but no movement from Liveprool's bench yet.
Middlesbrough substitution - Negredo comes off and is replaced by Jordan Rhodes
Min 74 | Liverpool still looking dangerous but seem content with their 3-0 lead and are not willing to push it. Middlesbrough on the other hand are struggling all over the pitch. Their defenders being forced to bail them out now on a number of occasions.
The Liverpool fans are in good voice now. They will enjoy their trip back down to Liverpool tonight!
Min 69 | GOAL! Lallana with his second. It's Mane causing problems again as he takes it behind enemy lines before he is taken down. John Moss plays advantage and Origi takes up the challenge. He crosses to Lallana, who drives it into an open net.
Divock Origi now has four goals in his last four Premier League games.
Min 62 | Karanka's substitution's not doing much if we ar ebeing honest. They can't seem to get a touch outside of their own half. Liverpool's pressing on point here in the second half.
Min 60 | GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! Mane links up with Wijnaldum, who finds Lallana, who plays it to Origi. The Belgium makes no mistake from close range. What a goal that was. A really good team goal with several players getting a touch before the finish. Excellent.
Min 58 | Firmino plays it to Mane, but he was adjudged to have been offside. Very, very close call, I would suggest.
Min 57 | Fabio crosses to Negredo but it's too long and at an awkwad ankle for the Spaniard. he throws his leg in the air to try and get a touch to it but he's a couple of yards away from it.
Middlesbrough substitution - Fischer goes off for Downing and Clayton is replaced by Leadbitter. Karanka not sitting around waiting to see what might happen as he makes significant chances with 55 minutes gone.
Min 55 | Mane looking for a penalty as his shot looks to have hit the elbow of Calum Chambers. he didn't know anything about it upon second look and his hand was beside his body. Never a penalty.
Min 54 | Lallana looking for Origi but his pass is too close to Valdes. Plenty of action from Liverpool but they are still not really troubling Middlesbrough. If they keep it up, you sense they will though.
Min 52 | Liverpool getting closer. A Milner cross falls to Firmino, who gives it Origi, but his chipped pass goes out for a goalkick.
Min 49 | This time he crosses to Lallana but his glancing header need less glance and more force. Firmino was surging into the box behind Lallana and might have liked a shot at that.
Min 47 | Another chance for Liverpool. Origi crosses to Lallana, who heads it down to Mane. He throws his foot at it but it's only a toepoke and gets blocked. He couldn't get the ball out from under his feet. Mane has started the second half with menace on his mind.
Min 47 | Mane breaks free but he fires against Valdes. A reall chance there. Mane really showed off his speed too.
Min 46 | We are underway and immediately Liverpool are on the attack
An unassuming display by both sides and if it wasn't for the poor marking of Nathaniel Clyne by Fabio, this might be a bore draw at the half. Liverpool have looked steady without ever clicked into the next gear but they have had the better chances. There was the one that Lallana had that he headered home to give them the lead and then Sadio Mane broke free but was denied by the upright.
Middlesbrough's Adama Traore looks like their livewire and Liverpool will have to keep an eye on him if they want to keep a clean sheet. It was from a foul on him that their best chance came. Ben Gibson headed down the free but Simon Mignolet was equal to it. It's 1-0 at the Riverside but this game could go either way in the second half.
Min 45 | As we approach half time, Milner gets a chance to cross from the left but it's not quite clear what he was trying to do. He ends up just hoofing it wide and high. Well wide, and well high!
Min 43 | Liverpool break, Origi plays Mane through and he shoots low and across the body of Valdes but it hits the base of the post and rebounds to a Origi but his shot is just wide. Very close to having our second goal of the evening!
Min 41 | Traore again but his touch lets him down this time as it goes out for a goalkick.If Middlesbrough do get anyhting from this first half, it is going to come from Traore. He seems to have Milner's number and is looking very dangerous.
Min 39 | Traore shows Henderson a clean pair of heels and crosses low but it is just behind Fischer. Forshaw has a shot that is blocked and sent out for a corner. Mignolet, suprisingly(?), collects the corner.
Min 37 | Some really poor play by Liverpool as Klaven plays it to Henderson in space but he manages to find himself in trouble before slipping and losing possession. De Roon's ball to Negredo has too much on it and it bypasses everyone and into a waiting Simon Mignolet's hands.
Min 35 | Clayton has a shot at goal and as the ball was travelling towards goal, Lovren gets in the way. He appeared to use his hand but they were tucked in beside his body and he may have been just protecting his face. Middlesbrough appeal for a penalty but it's not happening.
Min 34 | Middlesbrough now trying to build something. They are throwing it around with ease as Liverpool retreat. Traore fouled again as a result.
Min 31 | Oh me oh my! What a save by Mignolet. Fischer closing in from the right and tries a cross that looks to have been deflected but Mignolet meets it with a strong left arm and puts it out for a corner. What do you have to say about that Neville bros?
Min 29 | GOAL! And it comes from that right hand side. Clyne, with his fourth crossing opportunity, whips it into the mixer and Lallana meets it. Klopp is absolutely delighted but where was Fabio? He made an effort to close down Clyne but it was too little too late.
Min 27 | Milner with a through ball to Origi but his control lets him down. A malfunction at the back for Middlesbrough results in Lallana winning it back. Origi to Mane, to Firmino and back to Mane, but it's too congested and he can't get a clean shot away.
Min 25 | Liverpool settling into their stride now. They have gained control around the middle and are looking at ways to pick Middlesbrough apart.
Min 23 | From the resulting free, Ben Gibson rises highest and gets his head to the ball. Mignolet dives to his left and saves. No issues with Mignolet so far (okay, we will stop talking about Liveprool's goalkeeping situation now.)
Min 22 | Traore puts the foot down and tries to go by Milner but the Liverpool left-back is adjudged to have impeded his progress. Free kick on the right but it looked very soft.
Min 20 | Clyne with a neat one-two with Mane and this time his cross has the perfect amount of venom on it. Nobody in the penalty area though. Liverpool manage to win it back but it results in a hopeful effort by Origi into traffic. Blocked and cleared.
Min 19 | Oddly enough, Fischer looks to have taken Mane down but nobody - apart from Mane - looks for a penalty. Play continues.
Min 18 | Fabio has a crack from distance but he can't keep it far enough away from Mignolet. Mignolet's first assignment? Passed with flying colours as he cradles the ball in his stomach.
Min 17 | Fischer nicks the ball off the top of Clyne's foot, but he can't prevent it from going out for a throw. If he did, he was away down the left hand side.
Min 16 | Henderson looks for Origi with a through ball but the Belgian is offside. There was no way he was hiding from the linesman with his big yellow jersey either.
Min 14 | Martin De Roon very lucky not to get a booking. He just clipped Henderson after the Liverpool captain had played the ball and caught his ankle. Henderson is not happy. Henderson never looks happy though. He had a go at the linesman earlier for putting his flag up for a throw when the ball had clearly gone over the line.
Min 12 | Liverpool finally get a hold of the ball but after some slick passing around the middle involving Mane and Origi, Lallana misjudges a pass and Valdes accepts it gratefully.
Min 9 | Fabio cross is blocked and out for another throw. Liveprool seeing very little of the ball now.
Min 7 | Both teams eyeing each other up so far. Middlesbrough very calm on the ball. A long diagonal pas to Fabio finds its target and he tries to put Negredo through but it is cut out for a throw. The home side remain in possession and look to break down Liverpool.
Min 4 | Clyne with another cross but there wasn't enough pace on it and it was too close to the nearest Middlesbrough defender. It goes out for a corner though. that's a couple of times Clyne has broken free now. Fabio trying to see how much he can get away with in an attacking sense early on.
Min 3 | Clyne breaks on the right, with purpose but his cross is far too close to Valdes. Catching practice.
I misspoke earlier when I said chartreuse yellow. That is most certainly illuminous yellow. Bright illuminous yellow.
Min 1 | Traore with a couple of step-overs before forcing Milner into a tackle. Corner to the home side.
Min 1 | Middlesbrough get us underway against Liverpool, who are playing in their chartreuse yellow shirts.
Middlesbrough - Liverpool: Team news
Middlesbrough: Valdes, Barragan, Chambers, Gibson Fabio Clayton, De Roon, Forshaw, Traore, Fischer, Negredo
20:41 | Jordan Henderson and Ben Gibson lead their respective teams out onto the field. It looks really chilly on Teeside - a paltry nine degrees celsius, we are told.
20:29 | Just before kick-off, have a look at some of these dodgy Christmas jumpers that your club are trying to flog! The worst has to be Liverpool's.
20:25 | We are focusing on this game, but up in Manchester Pep has dropped John Stones and brought back Yaya Toure. Have the media and all the questions about his style gotten to him? Stan Collymore absolutely tore into the former Barcelona manager recently.
20:21 | Middlesbrough have conceded 16 goals this season. They have only scored 13. chance to conede a few more tonight given Liverpool's high-octane attack.
20:14 | Perhaps the reason for the defensive question was because Liverpool have conceded six in their last two games. More importantly though, perhaps, Liverpool have only kept three clean sheets in the league this season.
20:12 | It then gets particularly awkward when the interviewer asks him if their emphasis tonight will be not conceding a goal. Klopp tilts his head to the side, the same way a dog does when he looks in the mirror, and says "why?". He then went on to say, "it's football, we will try to do both" meaning score and don't concede. Fairly simple from Jurgen!
20:10 | He also says that Simon Mignolet is training at an "outstanding high level" and so it was an easy choice.
20:10 | Klopp says "there was no point in pushing Loris through this whole thing" and he says he showed he is a good goalkeeper but that he is a long term project, just like the whole Liverpool project.
20:06 | I learned that last little nugget of wisdom from Roy Kean'e book when he was trying to keep Sunderland in the Premier League.
20:04 | If you can get a point a game in the Premier League, you will do a very good job of avoiding relegation. Middlesbrough have played 15, won three, drawn six and lost six and currently sit on 15 points. Not bad. They need a point tonight to keep that going though.
19:50 | The big news, of course, is that Karius is dropped for Mignolet. Still no Sturridge in Liverpool's starting XI and he is not even on the bench.
Quite a strong Spanish connection in Middlesbrough team. Former Barcelona players victor Valdes and Adama Traore along with former Real Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia striker Alvaro Negredo starts up front.
19:40 | Liverpool looking for their first win in December tonight. They haven't won since beating Sunderland back in December. Middlesbrough, on the other hand, lost to Southampton last day out but beat Hull in the game before that.
19:10 | Michael Owen, who turns 37 today, has been in the news with Jose Mourinho having a pop at him for his criticism of the Zlatan singing. He might have not been a sprolific as United but he was unreal at Liverpool.
18:38 | All eyes on Karius tonight? We will spend a lot of time looking at the bench then becasuse Tony Barrett says the German has been in dropped in place of Smon Mignolet, who had been exiled to the bench for his own poor performances.
18:33 | The last time these two teams played was in 2014, in the League Cup and Liverpool won 16-15 on penalties! That's what dreams are made of for a football fan.
18:19 | Chelsea have the chance to extend their lead to six points in the league tonight as they play away to Sunderland. Pep is also looking to get his City side back on track at home to Watford. Manchester United might creep into the Europa League places if they win and Tottenham lose (granted it would have to be by a lot, and United would have to win by a lot!). It's all happening tonight in the Premier League!
18:00 | The Karius versus Neville debate has been rumbling on. This article by Marina Hyde in the Guardian today is well worth your time, on why we should be encouraging more athletes to speak their mind.
17:38 | Clearly your preference is going to be to stay with us here right through until full-time but guess what? There are other, less-palitable ways to experience the game too.
17:08 | Newly-promoted Middlesbrough currently sit just three points above Swansea who are in the relegation zone. Guess which two teams meet this coming weekend? [Clue: read our preview]
16:25 | After last night's surprise win for Everton over title-challengers Arsenal, Liverpool know that a win tonight would put them level in second place with the Gunners. A win by at least three goals would edge them ahead on goal difference.
15:47 | Divock Origi has been given his chance to shine following the injury to Coutinho and he has taken it. He's the first Liverpool player to score in four successive games (all competitions) for the Reds since Daniel Sturridge in February 2014. Fans will be hoping he can emulate the English striker who went on to score in eight consecutive games.
15:04 | Tonight's opponents haven't met in the league since the 2008/09 season and it was the home side that ran out 2-0 winners at the Riverside with Xabi Alonso helping them with an own-goal.
Middlesbrough - Liverpool: match preview
The league's top scorers travel to the lowest scorers at the Riverside Stadium tonight on the back of two disappointing results - draw at home to West Ham following defeat, in remarkable circumstances, at Bournemouth. And one of the narratives for the game could be a comparison between the sticks. Middlesborough went out in the summer and brought in Spanish veteren Victor Valdés while Liverpool looked to the German league for a younger replacement in the form of Loris Karius. It's likely that Valdés will have the busier night but will momentary lapses at the other end prove key?
The home manager Aitor Karanka comes into this game with a question mark over the importance of going all out to get the points against one of the league's most dangerous sides or putting more emphasis on a potential relegation battle against Swansea at the weekend. This may be demonstrated in his decision to start top scorer Alvaro Negredo or not. The Spaniard has three goals to his name this season and may not be risked with a slight hamstring strain. In saying that, top assist maker, Gastón Ramírez, is out with an injured foot.
As many teams have found, Liverpool's attack can be devastating but if you are able to limit their chances, they seem to always be vulnerable at the back. Bournemouth's dramatic late comeback will give teams hope that even when under the cosh for long periods, weaknesses can be exploited in just an instance.
The team that have been exciting viewers since the start of the season when they won 3-4 at the Emirates know that there is some improving to be done if the positive feeling around Anfield is to remain. And a win would have Liverpool level with Arsenal in second place after their loss to Everton last night. Goals are coming from all over the park - even since losing their creative maestro Coutinho - but their propensity to lose goals could be their downfall. Only Watford in the top half of the table have conceded more goals and losses away to Burnley and Bournemouth have shown that dominance of possession and style aren't enough.
Under pressure Karius will almost certainly start in goal for the Merseysiders and Jürgen Klopp will be looking for the new signing to start rebuilding his confidence with criticism being focused in his direction. The key to the defensive issues may be wider though with limited cover available for the back four. With Milner, the Reds have found a very able, if surprise, replacement for the suspect Alberto Moreno but he is not a natural in that position. Centrally, Lovren and Matip seemed to be forming a strong partnership but injuries to either saw Lucas Leiva fill in. If Klopp can find the balance in play and personnel to reduce the space for opponents to find opportunites then things will look bright again. Going forward they are as devastating as anything else the league has to offer.
Middlesbrough - Liverpool: potential team line-ups
Middlesbrough XI: Valdés, Barragán, Chambers, Gibson, Da Silva, Forshaw, Clayton, de Roon, Stuani, Rhodes, Fischer
Liverpool XI: Karius, Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Lallana, Firmino, Origi, Mane
Referee: Jonathan Moss