Middlesbrough FC news: EFL pundits deliver verdict on Britt Assombalonga's Bristol City goal

Pundits on Quest’s EFL highlights show felt Middlesbrough ‘got away with one’ during their 2-2 draw at Bristol City on Saturday afternoon – following a string of bad decisions against Boro earlier in the season.

Monday, 2nd September 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 2nd September 2019, 6:05 am
Britt Assombalonga puts Middlesbrough ahead against Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

The call in question came in the 68th minute at Ashton Gate when Britt Assombalonga latched onto Adam Clayton’s lofted pass before putting the visitors 2-1 ahead.

Yet Quest’s presenter Colin Murray, who last weekend said Boro should have received four penalties already this season, thought Assombalonga was fractionally offside.

“Middlesbrough have been on the end of some bad, bad decisions this season,” said Murray during the post-match analysis. “Today maybe Britt Assombalonga got away with one.

“We get the benefit of looking at it 20 times but from what we’ve looked at it’s just offside.”

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Studio guest Dean Ashton added: “It’s incredibly close, obviously he does the right thing and doesn’t worry about that and sticks it in the back of the net, which is what he’s done through all his career.

“I just think the linesman is slightly behind play which favours Britt Assombalonga, his 100th EFL appearance for Middlesbrough and 100th EFL goal.”

After the game Robins boss Lee Johnson acknowledged that defender Taylor Moore touched the ball with his head before the pass reached Assombalonga – allowing play to continue.

But despite admitting, by the letter of the law, the officials weren’t to blame, Johnson believes there needs to be a rule change.

“It’s the worst rule in football that,” said Johnson. “The one where Taylor Moore touches it is offside by four yards. If Taylor Moore doesn’t touch it, it’s offside.

“I’m not blaming the referees, I’m blaming the rule. It’s a stupid rule. It’s actually a dangerous rule because often you see centre forwards, centre-halves and goalkeepers come out and collide. For me offside is offside.”

Sky Sports pundit Gary Rowett agreed with Johnson, saying: "The problem is that Taylor Moore doesn't know if he is offside - at that point I thought the left-back might have played Assombalonga on - and you don't want your defenders leaving it.

"You have to go for it.”