Match Report | Middlesbrough 2-3 Cardiff City
A stunning first half display saw the Bluebirds defeat Middlesbrough 2-3 at the Riverside Stadium.
Steve Morison made five changes to the side which faced Millwall last time out, with Jack Simpson, Callum O'Dowda, Joe Ralls, Mark Harris and Callum Robinson coming into the eleven.
City wasted no time in netting the opener, scoring after just four minutes. On his full debut, a great pass from Robinson released his Republic of Ireland teammate O'Dowda, who slotted past goalkeeper Liam Roberts.
The hosts created few chances in the opening twenty minutes, with Harris seeing a headed effort saved by Roberts at the back post at the other end.
Minutes later, it was the Welshman who would add a second for the Bluebirds. Excellent, aggressive pressing by Robinson and Andy Rinomhota saw City win possession in a dangerous area.
After receiving the ball in space, Harris deployed a powerful strike which Roberts could do nothing about, stinging the palms of the stopper before nestling in the net.
Boro showed promise from several corner kicks in the latter stages of the first half, but were unable to trouble Ryan Allsop in the City net - Rodrigo Muniz had the best chance, heading wide.
Moments before half time, the Bluebirds added a fine third, with Perry Ng netting his first goal for the club. The defender broke into the box, cut inside past his marker and fired low into the net, giving Morison's men a commanding lead at the break.
The second half began with few chances at either end, though the hosts began to command possession and create chances from wide areas.
One such opportunity paid off after 66 minutes, with Duncan Watmore squeezing into the box before firing low past Allsop to mount hopes of a comeback.
A minute later, Boro added another through Muniz, who rose highest inside the City area to nod home and further increase the excitement amongst the home supporters.
The Bluebirds back-line held firm in the final 13 minutes to prevent any further goals for Chris Wilder's side, with Cédric Kipré and Simpson producing excellent aerial performances to deflect waves of Middlesbrough crosses.
The latter came up with a match-defining moment late on, diving across the penalty box to heroically block Isaiah Jones' effort on goal.
After five minutes of injury time, the full time whistle brought the contest to a close, with the Bluebirds claiming all three points after an incredibly entertaining match.
Full-Time: Middlesbrough 2-3 Cardiff City
Cardiff City: Allsop, Romeo, Ng (Nelson 79'), Kipré, Simpson, O'Dowda (Nkounkou 67'), Wintle, Rinomhota, Ralls (Sawyers 37'), Robinson (Ojo 67'), Harris (Colwill 79').
Subs not used: Alnwick, Philogene.
Middlesbrough: Roberts, McNair (Dijksteel 46'), Fry (Forss 89'), Clarke (Bola 64'), Jones, Crooks, Howson, Mowatt (Watmore 46'), Giles, McGree, Muniz.
Subs not used: Daniels, Smith, Luongo.