Boro & Bluebirds | Memorable Meetings
From FA Cup classics to last-minute winners, we look at some of the highlights from our most memorable meetings with Boro...
A FAMOUS FA CUP FIXTURE
City's trip to the Riverside Stadium back in March 2008 was their first in 14 years, where they'd had another FA Cup tie in 1994, coming away the victors in a Third Round replay on that occasion.
Having progressed in the competition with wins over Chasetown, Hereford United and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the opening few rounds, Premier League Middlesbrough were the Bluebirds’ Quarter-Final opponents.
Dave Jones' men took an early lead against Gareth Southgate’s side in the ninth minute, courtesy of a fantastic strike from City legend Peter Whittingham.
After picking up the ball inside the Boro box, the midfielder showed great trickery to create space before curling a sumptuous strike into the top corner.
That lead was doubled 13 minutes later, as Whittingham's delightful free-kick found the on-running Roger Johnson at the back post. The commanding defender guided his diving header back across goal, past Mark Schwarzer and into the net.
Having secured a two goal advantage, Johnson came close to doubling his tally soon afterwards from the opposite side, whilst Paul Parry drilled an effort just wide as the Bluebirds continued to control proceedings.
With the final whistle blown, City secured their spot in the Semi-Final at Wembley Stadium, and would go on to reach the Final for the third time in the club’s history, facing off against Portsmouth a month later.
BURKE STRIKES AGAIN
In December 2009, Chris Burke continued his free-scoring form for City to secure a vital 1-0 victory against Boro at Riverside Stadium.
Having entered the game on the back of a 2-0 away win against West Bromwich Albion last time out, the Bluebirds began the day in third place, looking to continue their impressive winning run.
After an opening first half with little goalmouth action, it was Boro who came close to an opener, as Dave Kitson fired an effort just wide after Rhys Williams' long-range strike was well saved by David Marshall.
The Scotland international had to be at his best once again to tip Mark Yeates’ teasing free-kick around the post not long afterwards.
Despite the home side’s pressure, it was the Bluebirds who took the lead in the 60th minute via the in-form Burke. The Scot's in-swinging free-kick from the left deceived goalkeeper Brad Jones to sail in for his third goal in successive games, and fifth of the league campaign.
In search of an equaliser, David Wheater hit the bar while Leroy Lita had an effort hacked off the line late in the second half, but Dave Jones’ side hung on for a momentous victory.
The win saw the Bluebirds move five points clear of seventh place, eventually finishing the season in fourth spot.
RALLS LEAVES IT LATE
Without a league victory away from home against Middlesbrough since 2012, the Bluebirds arrived at the Riverside in October 2017 in the Play-Off positions, with manager Neil Warnock looking to keep his longstanding record against Boro intact.
No manager had won more times against Middlesbrough in the modern era, and the Bluebirds boss was looking to make it ten victories when he faced Garry Monk in the dugout.
City were the more dominant side in the opening 45 minutes but failed to find the cutting edge in front of goal. Indeed, it was forward Danny Ward who came closest to opening the scoring, as his shot was expertly saved by Darren Randolph after just five minutes.
The crucial moment in a scrappy game, however, came as substitute Adama Traoré brought down Nathaniel Mendez-Laing inside the box. With referee Andy Madley pointing to the spot, Joe Ralls had the opportunity to seal an important victory with just six minutes remaining.
From 12 yards, the formidable midfielder made no mistake, securing a valuable win against one of the pre-season promotion favourites.
The win kept City in second position in the table, two points behind Wolverhampton Wanderers, and saw the Bluebirds bounce back after two matches without victory.