Lucas Jutkiewicz double puts more pressure on Steve Kean

Blackburn Rovers 1 Middlesbrough 2

Ewood Park

Blackburn remain top of the Championship, but the position their manager Steve Kean finds himself in looks increasingly shaky after defeat against Middlesbrough meant he failed to hit the owners' target of 16 points from the opening seven games – a fact that will doubtless be thrown at him in the coming days. As Rovers were being easily beaten the familiar song of "Kean out" became more frequent and more vitriolic.

This was not a reaction to a first home defeat of the season, nor to the ineptness of a toothless Rovers side, but a hallmark of the crisis at the heart of the club. Kean, defiant as ever, spoke afterwards of averaging two points a game, even venturing a prediction that they could finish up as champions.

"We're frustrated we've lost the unbeaten run," he said. "Performances will improve. The fans want to see us promoted and if we keep going on in this vain we will do. I believe we will get promotion – we have as good enough group. Would we have taken this amount of points at this stage? Yes. We are on track."

Tony Mowbray's Middlesbrough had failed to pick up a single point away from the Riverside so far this season but were bright throughout, nudging ahead within seven minutes. Gaël Givet was caught the wrong side of Lucas Jutkiewicz – the striker latching onto Marvin Emnes' throughball to beat Paul Robinson at his near post with a smart drive.

Danny Murphy and Dickson Etuhu failed to exude any sort of control with Rovers one-paced and lacking ideas. After a number of misplaced passes, Murphy bore the brunt of the fans' spleen.

The second goal came shortly after the hour mark when Mustapha Carayol floated a ball across, Grant Hanley allowed Jutkiewicz room to power a header impressively into the net. Hanley atoned for his earlier error by scoring late on to set up a tense finish but they could not force another.

Top they may be, but it was business as usual at an Ewood Park full of resentment and anger, ending in jeers and boos. Given the low gates Blackburn are averaging, the hand of Venky's could be forced sooner rather than later.

Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2): Robinson; Orr, Givet, Dann, Ribeiro (Formica, h-t); Nunes, Murphy, Etuhu, Olsson (Hanley, 48); Gomes, Rhodes.

Substitutes not used Kean, Lowe, Dunn, Pedersen, Rochina.

Middlesbrough (4-4-2): Steele; Hoyte, Woodgate (Hines, 84), Bikey, Friend; McEachran, Leadbitter (Bailey, 88), Thomson, Carayol (Zammama, 88); Emnes, Jutkiewicz.

Substitutes not used Leutwiler, Ledsema, Arca, Williams.

Referee C Pawson (South Yorkshire).

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam