Middlesbrough 1 Watford 1: Karanka heaps praise on Boro’s ‘brilliance’

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka was beaming after this deserved draw at home to high-flying Watford.

Middlesbrough's Kike celebrates.

The Teessiders were unlucky not to have bagged all three points after dominating their visitors for most of the game.

Kike’s 49th-minute goal was timely for Boro as it gave them something to show for a strong spell either side of the interval, but their lead was short lived as Watford equalised through Troy Deeney 13 minutes later.

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Karanka said: “I’m very happy. It was one of our better games since I arrived at the club and we played very well against one of the best teams in this division.

“If football was fair, we would have won 4-0 because in the first half we were very good and had so many chances. If we had taken them, the game would have been completely different.

“When you don’t score your motivation can go down, but we kept working in the same way in the second half and got our goal.

“But when you don’t finish off the game against one of the best teams in this league, you can have problems.

“But I still think the players were brilliant and the performance is the most important thing.

“If you don’t win this type of game, it’s very important that you don’t lose.”

Boro were well on top until Watford boss Slavisa Jokanovic changed things around three minutes after Boro’s opening goal by sending on Deeney.

The forward drew Watford level with a well-taken finish less than 10 minutes later.

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Fredericks, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Whitehead, Clayton, Adomah, Tomlin (Vossen 83), Bamford (Reach 73), Garcia. Unused substitutes: Husband, Omeruo, Nsue, Veljkovic, Mejias.

Watford: Bond, Paredes, Ekstrand, Bassong,Pudil, Munari, Tozser, Anya, Vydra, Forestieri (Deeney 53), Ighalo (Andrews 64). Unused substitutes: Doyley, Murray, Dyer, Hoban, Gilmartin.

Referee: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire).