Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

One in the Bag on the Road to Safety West Brom 0 Boro 2

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

One in the Bag on the Road to Safety West Brom 0 Boro 2

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

This was Boro's easiest win for a long time. They got the goals and, once Nigel Quashie was dismissed, the Baggies lost all interest in the game

The Hitman did it again as Boro edged further clear of the relegation battle without getting out of first gear.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink struck with two clinical first-half goals which left struggling West Bromwich on their knees.

Then, when Albion midfielder Nigel Quashie was dismissed early in the second period for cynically kicking George Boateng in the back, the Baggies collapsed in a heap.

All Boro had to do throughout the remainder of the game was to pass the ball around and stroll through the second half.

This comfortable victory emphasised again that the grit is back in the side.

Boro are unbeaten in five away games since the Arsenal debacle and have put the show back on the road.

This comfortable victory suggested that, when all their players are fit, maybe Boro are a bit too good to be involved in a relegation battle.

But they are not out of the woods yet, despite having won three of their last four Premiership games.

That's why another three points are crucial on Saturday from the clash at the Riverside against Albion's threatened neighbours Birmingham City.

Boro will certainly not be lacking in belief at the weekend.

They exude confidence again and the work-rate within the side is excellent.

Boro also started well at The Hawthorns, sweeping away memories of that poor opening 15-minute spell against Stuttgart, and they never allowed West Brom the opportunity to get into their stride.

As ever, the first goal made all the difference. From the moment that Hasselbaink fired Boro in front with a strong finish in 17 minutes there seemed little danger to the final outcome.

Hasselbaink's second goal on the stroke of half-time settled it and afterwards West Brom were a spent force.

It was even easier against ten men and Boro had just one scare in the whole game, when Mark Schwarzer made a superb save to keep out a Kanu header 13 minutes from time. …

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