Daryl Murphy’s 14th goal of the season and a header from the diminutive Jay Tabb gave Ipswich Town a deserved victory over Middlesbrough that lifted them above their opponents into second place in the Championship.
For a side that had lost only one of their previous 16 League matches, and were unbeaten in their last eight, Boro were a disappointment – not least to their manager, Aitor Karanka, who accused his players of “playing thinking we are a Premier or Champions League team”.
Hesaid: “It’s impossible to take anything good from this game. We needed an alarm to wake up. There was one team that wanted to win. Today is the first day I am angry with my players.”
Ipswich’s Mick McCarthy was not impressed by his opposite number’s lack of generosity. “I’d hope he wouldn’t be so disingenuous as to say it was all that his team didn’t play well,” he said. “You can only play as well as the other team lets you.”
From the moment Ipswich went ahead in the 25th minute it always looked more likely that they would increase their lead than lose it. That goal came when Tabb pulled the ball back low from the by-line, David McGoldrick’s first-time shot was well blocked by Dimitrios Konstantopoulos with his leg, but fell to Murphy, who scored from six yards, while Karanka fumed at his defenders’ failure to reach the ball first.
The second arrived seconds before the break when Tabb, at 5ft 5in the smallest player on the field, outjumped Boro’s central defenders to meet a lofted right-wing cross from the outstanding Teddy Bishop (left) and head home.
Karanka rated Bishop, 18, “the best player on the field”; McCarthy said he was likely to be the next of his squad to attract top-flight attention, which would be rebuffed.
“Bishop’s getting all the rave reviews but he’s thriving here. He’s on a four-year contract. If he wants to play in the Premier League let’s see if we can get there,” he said.
Ipswich: (4-4-2) Bialkowski; Chambers, Berra, Smith, Parr; Anderson (Sammon, 82), Bishop (Ambrose, 71), Skuse (Bru, 52), Tabb; Murphy, McGoldrick.
Middlesbrough: (4-4-1-1) Konstantopoulos; Nsue, Ayala, Omeruo (Veljkovic, 61), Friend; Adomah (Tomlin, h-t), Clayton, Leadbitter, Reach; Vossen (Kike, 61); Bamford.
Referee: James Linington.
Man of the match: Tabb (Ipswich)
Match rating: 6/10Reuse content