Calum Chambers was defensively solid once more and showed his attacking capabilities with an assist, but it ultimately wasn’t enough as Middlesbrough lost 3-1 at home against West Ham.
Straight from the offset, the visitors looked to break the deadlock. A lofted ball swung near the area by Winston Reid caused all sorts of problems for winger Adama Traore and Chambers in particular, who was forced to quickly multitask to try and avoid conceding a goalscoring opportunity. Aaron Cresswell and Manuel Lanzini combined with one another before the latter’s delivery into the box was skewed wide by Michail Antonio from close-range.
Chambers would’ve initially been disappointed with how easily Lanzini was able to breach the backline but upon reflection, he should’ve been given more support on the right-hand side and did okay given the circumstances.
Andy Carroll broke the deadlock after nine minutes with a powerful header from close-range following a corner-kick, which was poor defending on the whole from the hosts.
Chambers got forward and made his contribution in the final third count with an assist from Boro’s unexpected counter-attack in the 27th minute. The hosts passed out from the back with quick, incisive passes across midfield before the ball fell to the feet of Traore. He looked up and saw Chambers ahead of him in support, teed up the Englishman and he was able to find the run of Stuani at the back post with an accurate pass across the face of goal, one which saw Darren Randolph wrong-footed and helpless to stop his strike from equalising.
Chambers did well to hassle Cresswell as the fullback shaped to deliver a cross into the box, and in doing so forced him to play back into the middle on the edge of the box. Antonio then unleashed a powerful low drive that was nestling into the bottom corner but for a good diving save from Victor Valdes, who was only able to parry the strike into the path of Carroll who had the fortune of being in the perfect place at the right time to slot home once more from close-range to restore West Ham’s lead.
Both sides looked dangerous on the attack in the latter stages but it was the visitors who snatched all three points with a third goal, deep into second-half stoppage time courtesy of substitute Jonathan Calleri’s strike, which took a wicked deflection off Adam Clayton and sent Valdes the wrong way.
It was an end-to-end affair and one that Chambers impressed in once more, but Boro’s defence were collectively sloppy in moments they needed to be stronger to deal with attacking pressure and were ultimately made to pay for it.