English Premiership

Negredo on target, as 'Boro, WBA draw

Alvaro Negredo (Getty Images)
Alvaro Negredo (Getty Images)

Middlesbrough - Alvaro Negredo rescued Middlesbrough as the Spanish striker's penalty secured a 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.

Aitor Karanka's side fell behind when their former midfielder James Morrison lashed home from 20 yards early on at the Riverside Stadium.

They drew level before the break after Gareth McAuley needlessly brought down Marten de Roon in the area and Negredo slotted home the resulting spot-kick.

The point will hardly soothe Karanka, who on Monday admitted his frustrations at failing to sufficiently add to his squad in the January transfer window.

Middlesbrough are now just two points clear of the relegation zone after failing to win for the sixth consecutive league game.

Karanka, who made seven changes to the line-up from the 1-0 FA Cup win over Accrington at the weekend, saw his side fall behind after six minutes.

After the home side failed to clear their lines from a ball into the box, West Brom skipper Darren Fletcher expertly chested down to Morrison and the former Middlesbrough academy product rifled low past Victor Valdes from the edge of the area.

Boro were nearly two down inside the first quarter of an hour as Chris Brunt's dipping volley went narrowly over,

But they were given a lifeline in the 17th minute when McAuley senselessly hacked down De Roon in the area, allowing Negredo to stroke home the spot-kick as he sent Ben Foster the wrong way.

Middlesbrough almost pulled ahead when Allan Nyom diverted Adama Traore's cross towards goal, only for Foster to keep it out as well as Cristhian Stuani's rebound from an acute angle.

After the interval, Valdes was almost beaten twice as West Brom hit both posts in the space of seconds, first through Matt Phillips' diving header then Salomon Rondon's follow up.

Immediately afterwards, Middlesbrough broke down the right, which led to De Roon's first time strike being clawed away by Foster.

Karanka's men also had three shots in quick succession blocked by the Baggies, while Brunt's strike from distance was tipped over by Valdes.