A brilliant solo goal from Gaston Ramirez helped Middlesbrough to a first win in eight Premier League games as they beat Bournemouth at the Riverside Stadium.
Ramirez blocked a shot and picked up the loose ball in his own half before he ended a storming run into the Bournemouth penalty area by cutting inside Andrew Surman and side-footing home.
Stewart Downing added Middlesbrough’s second from close range after Alvaro Negredo nodded Adam Traore’s cross to the far post.
Bournemouth had almost taken the lead earlier on when Josh King chested down a Jack Wilshere pass and had a volley tipped on to the crossbar by impressive keeper Victor Valdes.
The Cherries were reduced to 10 men after 79 minutes when Surman went off injured, manager Eddie Howe having made his three substitutions.
There is plenty to admire about Middlesbrough’s play in terms of effort, commitment and attitude but, prior to this match, they had struggled in front of goal with only seven goals in nine top-flight matches.
However, they scored two in a game for the first time since their only other league win this season, which came against Sunderland on 21 August.
Ramirez and Downing each scored for the first time this term, while the lively Adama Traore, who was denied a first-half penalty, was a constant threat with his pace and powerful running.
The main drawback for Boro from their first home win of the campaign will be the form of striker Negredo, who has not scored since the opening day of the season.
The Spaniard cannot be faulted for his work-rate but, when through on goal in the second half, he struck a tame shot which was easily saved.
“We deserved it and we were more clinical,” said Downing. “We’ve played well in a lot of games so far this season but have lost or drawn. That was a big win and will give us a lot of confidence.”
Bournemouth, now without a win in their past seven away league games, started promisingly as King had a shot cleared off the line by Adam Clayton and then hit the crossbar with a volley.
However, the visitors failed to match the intensity levels shown in last week’s draw with Tottenham.
Striker Benik Afobe made a difference after his introduction – he was refused a penalty following a Ben Gibson challenge and looped a late header on to the crossbar – but Bournemouth could not prevent a first league defeat in five outings.