Middlesbrough come from behind to beat Swansea 3-1
Two goals in the space of three second-half minutes helped Middlesbrough to come from behind at Swansea to triumph 3-1 and close the gap on the Championship’s promotion leaders.
Aaron Ramsey and Cameron Archer scored after the break to turn the game on its head just moments after Swansea, who led at the interval 1-0 thanks to Joel Piroe’s 14th goal of the season, had a goal ruled out.
Top scorer Chuba Akpom netted from the penalty spot to seal a rousing comeback and leave Michael Carrick’s side just four points behind second-placed Sheffield United, who were beaten by Luton.
The visitors arrived in south Wales as the Championship’s in-form team – six wins in seven – and boosted by the return of key defender Paddy McNair from a head injury.
Swansea manager Russell Martin was on the touchline as he awaits his punishment for a red card in the 1-0 defeat at Luton last weekend but Joe Allen was out with a muscle strain.
There were chances at both ends in the early stages. A strong run from Boro’s Ramsey saw him set up Archer, before Jonny Howson’s loose pass gifted Swansea’s Oli Cooper an opportunity, but both curled their efforts wide.
Home skipper Matt Grimes was prominent from the start and Boro failed to contain him. It was Grimes who provided the launchpad for the opening goal in the 15th minute.
The midfielder held three defenders at bay before Ryan Manning’s deflected cross was gently nudged past Zack Steffen by Piroe.
Middlesbrough composed themselves and then began to slowly impose their game on their hosts as the Swans began to sit back. Riley McGree was at the heart of most of Boro’s attacks with Ryan Giles busy on the left.
Piroe shot tamely after a rare Swansea counter four minutes before the break and the first half ended with McGree curling an effort straight at the goalkeeper.
Swansea thought they had doubled their lead just seven minutes into the second half but Jay Fulton’s effort following Piroe’s acrobatic overhead kick was ruled out for offside.
The home side were buoyant only for the game to dramatically swing just moments later with two goals in quick succession.
Boro hit Swansea on the counter-attack. Ramsey looked to have blown the chance when he cut back inside, but kept his cool to shoot left-footed inside the far post.
Three minutes later and fellow Aston Villa loanee Archer was unmarked inside the six-yard box to nod home past Andy Fisher to put the visitors ahead.
The air went out of Swansea like a flat tyre and when Joel Latibeaudiere needlessly brought down McGree inside the box, Akpom netted his 22nd goal of the season from the spot.
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