Emphatic performance sends Aitor Karanka’s side to Wembley
Middlesbrough reached the Championship play-off Final, following a 3-0 victory over Brentford at the Riverside on Friday evening.
Lee Tomlin sent the Teesside outfit on their way mid-way through the first-half, which was added to by Kike’s close-range strike, ten-minutes after the interval.
Albert Adomah completed the scoring after 77 minutes with a well worked team-goal, but by then the party had already started!
Boro made just the one change from the first-leg, Kike coming in for Patrick Bamford, while Mark Warburton’s Bees’ remained unchanged from last Friday’s 2-1 defeat at Griffin Park.
The hosts started the game as the better of the two sides, however they couldn’t break down Harlee Dean and the Brentford back-line.
Brentford’s Spanish midfielder Jota created the first real opening of the game, however struck his 20-yard drive into the grasp of Dimi Kontantopoulous after 15 minutes
Middlesbrough would find the lead that they had craved after 22 minutes, courtesy of midfielder Lee Tomlin. Energetic winger Albert Adomah cut inside to roll the ball towards Tomlin, who took a touch, and delightfully bent the ball right-footed into the top-corner beyond David Button, from the edge of the area.
As the half wore on, Brentford looked to get back into proceedings, as Alan Judge whipped a teasing ball into the path of Andre Gray, who headed straight at Konstantopoulos.
The second period resumed, and Middlesbrough were swiftly out the traps, Adomah again drilling a fierce ball into the penalty box, which just evaded Vossen.
Up the other end, Gray spurned a great chance for the visitors, Moses Odubajo crossing well from the left, which was completely misjudged by the forward.
That miss would prove costly for the West-Londoners, as Middlesbrough found a second goal after 55 minutes, Kike getting his name on the score-sheet.
Lee Tomlin played a lovely through ball to Jelle Vossen, the Belgian forward bundled the ball to Kike under a challenge, with Kike drilling right-footed past Button from close-range.
Chances were at a premium for Brentford, Warburton’s side huffed and puffed, but couldn’t find a way through, as the game entered the closing stages.
Middlesbrough were keen for more, and only the palms of David Button denied Adomah from adding a third on the hour, after he had cut inside, and hit a rasping drive towards goal.
Albert Adomah confirmed Boro’s place in the Wembley showpiece after 77 minutes, playing a neat one-two with Tomlin, before rounding Button and smashing into an empty net, a goal which sent the Riverside into delirium.
Middlesbrough will now face either Norwich City or Ipswich Town at Wembley on the 25th May, for the right to play in the Premier League.
by Ben Reardon
Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Whitehead, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Clayton, Leadbitter, Adomah, Vossen, Tomlin, Garcia.
Subs: Ripley, Reach, Nsue, Amorebieta, Forshaw, Woodgate, Bamford.
Brentford: Button, Odubajo, Dean, Tarkowski, Bidwell, Diagouraga, Douglas, Jota, Judge, Pritchard, Gray.
Subs: Craig, McCormack, Dallas, Bonham, Toral, Smith, Long.
Referee: Lee Mason (Bolton)