Chris Hughton has a tough day at the office. PA Wire/PA Images
beaten at last

Middlesbrough end Brighton's unbeaten record in top of the table clash

Chris Hughton’s Seagulls outclassed at home as Boro secure top spot for Christmas.

MIDDLESBROUGH MADE A big statement in the Championship title race with a comfortable 3-0 win at Brighton this afternoon.

The Teesiders secured their place at the top of England’s second tier at Christmas and going by this performance, it will take something special to knock them off their perch.

Chris Hughton’s side had been unbeaten in 21 league games before kick-off but were sitting in second spot on goal difference, behind Boro, after successive draws. But this afternoon’s result has put some daylight between the Championship’s front-runners.

Aitor Karanka’s charges hit the front after just four minutes through Kike as Karanka’s pal, former Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho watched on from the stands.

Middlesbrough doubled their lead from a corner just before halftime with Albert Adomah getting the final touch on a Daniel Ayala header. It was a sucker-punch for the home side and they never recovered.

The second period played out similar to the first – with the men from England’s north-east dominant – and they were rewarded with a third goal just after the hour-mark.

Christian Stuani was on target on this occasion after Brighton looked all at sea while defending another corner – which, worryingly for Hughton, happened on a number occasions in this top of the table clash.

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