Middlesbrough boss happy to end losing run at West Ham

Middlesbrough's Cristhian Stuani celebrates scoring at West Ham
Middlesbrough's Cristhian Stuani celebrates scoring at West Ham

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka was satisfied with a point as his side ended a three-game losing run.

Cristhian Stuani had headed them ahead but a stunning goal from Dimitri Payet put the Hammers level to quiten the boos at the London Stadium.

It’s a good point, but I’m happier with the performance.

“It’s a good point, but I’m happier with the performance,” said manager Aitor Karanka.

“We knew West Ham weren’t in the best moment, but when they have players like Payet we knew we would have problems so a point was fair.

“He hasn’t just scored goals like that against us.

“He’s a top-class player and we knew that. We have to try to stop players like that, but sometimes it’s difficult.”

The Hammers are having a tough time of it at the moment, but if under-pressure boss Slaven Bilic thought things could not get much worse he was proved wrong after just five minutes when Sam Byram left the field on a stretcher.

And the hosts could have found themselves behind moments later when Viktor Fischer fizzed a low shot across Adrian’s goal and inches wide.

As usual, West Ham looked most dangerous when Payet got on the ball and he saw one shot blocked by a well-timed Calum Chambers challenge before curling another effort wide.

The hosts came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock two minutes before half-time when Mark Noble whipped in a curling shot from the edge of the area only to see it bounce down off the underside of the crossbar.

Yet the defensive errors which have blighted their start to the season were still evident when Adrian made a hash of a high ball and was relieved that Jordan Rhodes, on his full Premier League debut, was unable to take advantage.

However, Boro took the lead six minutes after the break when Rhodes chased Adam Forshaw’s ball over the top and, after initially hesitating, Adrian came out to block the shot.

From the corner Stuani rose to nod Fischer’s cross in at the far post with Noble unable to keep the ball out, goal-line technology confirming it had crossed the line.

But Payet struck six minutes later with a superb goal.

The midfielder turned Antonio Barragan on the wing, breezed past Marten de Roon on the edge of the area and then skipped away from Chambers and Ben Gibson before leaving George Friend on his backside as he rolled the ball home.

Antonio could even have won it for West Ham five minutes from the end but blazed his angled shot over as Middlesbrough, themselves on a poor run of form, avoided a fourth straight defeat.

West Ham: Adrian, Byram (Arbeloa 7), Collins, Reid, Ogbonna, Noble (Lanzini 73), Obiang, Kouyate, Tore (Zaza 46), Antonio, Payet. Subs Not Used: Randolph, Feghouli, Fletcher, Fernandes. Booked: Obiang, Arbeloa. Goals: Payet 57.

Middlesbrough: Valdes, Barragan, Chambers, Gibson, Friend, de Roon, Forshaw, Stuani, Downing, Fischer (Ramirez 59), Rhodes (Negredo 68). Subs Not Used: Ayala, Bernardo, Clayton, Guzan, Traore. Booked: de Roon, Stuani, Barragan. Goals: Stuani 51.

Att: 56,945 Ref: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire).