Middlesbrough 2 Sheffield United 0 - player ratings

Middlesbrough recorded a deserved 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Tuesday.

GOAL: Duncan Watmore opened the scoring for Middlesbrough

Despite what the form guide might have suggested Boro were better in every department. The Blades were far from terrible, just humdrum.

Here are how the players from both sides rated.

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Middlesbrough

Joe Lumley - excellent save from David McGoldrick late on 7

Lee Peltier - started at right-back, moved into a back three, solid in both 7

Sol Bamba - made a great save with his foot to deny McGoldrick 7

Dael Fry - part of a solid rearguard 7

Marc Bola - involved in both goals 8

Jonny Howson - his discipline allowed McNair to get forward 7

Paddy McNair - excellent finish for the second goal 7

Marcus Tavernier - played well down the right 6

Matt Crooks - combative playing an attacking role 6

Duncan Watmore - set the ball rolling on a good personal performance with his goal 7

Andraz Sporar - linked the play well in the first half but withdrawn when he lost his head and was booked in the second 7

Substitutes:

Uche Ikpeazu (for Sporar, 72) - came on when Sporar threatened to boil over 6

Toyosi Olusanya (for Watmore, 78) - did his job in the closing stages 6

Not used: Hall, Payero, Lea Siliki, Daniels, Jones.

Sheffield United

Robin Olsen - did his best to keep Boro at bay 7

George Baldock - an excellent pass for his team's best chance 6

John Egan - Sporar causes him problems at times 6

Ben Davies - his best tackle was needed because of his poor pass 6

Enda Stevens - a better day for Rhys Norrington-Davies in the battle to be first choice left-back 5

Oliver Norwood - a mixed bag from the midfielder but the good obviously outweighed the bad in Slavisa Jokanovic's as he was withdrawn at half-time 5

John Fleck - booked for a foul and not the Fleck we have seen lately despite his energy 6

Morgan Gibbs-White - cut a frustrated figure at times 6

Iliman Ndiaye - hit the post but it was poor decision-making 5

Ben Osborn - ran hard but did not always make good choices 6

Billy Sharp - had little service to continue his recent good form 6

Substitutes:

David McGoldrick (for Norwood, 46) - only came into it in the last ten minutes, though the shot Lumley saved was excellent 6

Rhys Norrington-Davies (for Stevens, 69) - came on to try and improve things down the left 5

Conor Hourihane (for Ndiaye, 77) - unable to match his Saturday impact but it was a big ask to lift the team 5

Not used: Basham, Brewster, McBurnie, Foderingham.