English Premiership

Arnautovic sends sorry Boro into bottom three

2017-03-04 20:05
Marko Arnautovic (AP)

Stoke-on-Trent - Marko Arnautovic scored twice as Stoke City sent Middlesbrough tumbling into the Premier League relegation zone with a routine 2-0 home win on Saturday.

The Austria international struck twice in the first half - his fifth and sixth goals of the season - to get Mark Hughes's men back to winning ways after their 4-0 loss at Tottenham Hotspur.

While Stoke rose one place to ninth, Boro skidded down to 18th after a 10th successive league game without victory.

Aitor Karanka's team have not scored in four league games and are looking increasingly likely candidates for the drop.

Boro's afternoon got off to a bad start when centre-back Daniel Ayala was forced off by an apparent hamstring injury in the eighth minute, with Bernardo Espinosa taking his place.

There were sights of goal for Boro, the recalled Rudy Gestede heading straight at Lee Grant and Marten de Roon seeing a shot blocked by Geoff Cameron, but the hosts looked the more likely scorers.

They hit the woodwork in the 15th minute, Ramadan Sobhi slamming an effort against the bar from Arnautovic's right-wing cross, with Joe Allen putting the rebound high and wide.

It was a warning Boro did not heed as Stoke broke through in the 29th minute, Arnautovic plucking a high ball from the sky before skipping past goalkeeper Victor Valdes and smashing home.

Grant Leadbitter threatened to pull Boro level, his shot taking a deflection off Cameron and rolling narrowly wide, but three minutes before half-time it was 2-0.

Peter Crouch nodded down a corner for Arnautovic, who swivelled and scored from close range.

Ben Gibson thought he had brought Boro back into the game when he stabbed home on the hour, only to be denied by an offside flag.

The impressive Sobhi threatened to swell Stoke's lead in the closing stages, but his header from Glenn Whelan's flighted pass was smartly repelled by Valdes.

Sobhi then set Ibrahim Afellay clear, but Valdes came to Boro's rescue again.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea, The American Express Community Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v Huddersfield Town, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Crystal Palace, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Everton v West Bromwich Albion, Goodison Park 17:00
Leicester City v Watford, King Power Stadium 17:00
West Ham United v AFC Bournemouth, London Stadium 17:00
Burnley v Manchester United, Turf Moor 17:00
Manchester City v Newcastle United, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 21 January 2018
Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
Monday, 22 January 2018
Swansea City v Liverpool, Liberty Stadium 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.