Calum Chambers continued his recovery from a foot injury and excelled during Middlesbrough’s enthralling 2-2 draw with Manchester City on Sunday afternoon, scoring his first goal for Boro.
The centre-back, who was one of their better performers during a forgettable weekend last time out at Bournemouth, impressed once more during an important fixture for Steve Agnew’s side.
The point takes them up to 28 and means they still need a miracle to stave off relegation, with Marco Silva’s Hull City side in 17th place with 34 points – but anything can happen with three matches remaining.
Chambers started alongside Ben Gibson in the centre of defence with Fabio his nearest team-mate at the back. A lack of positional awareness out of possession meant that Chambers was constantly trying to cover for the Brazilian when City pressed for a goal and looked to exploit spaces vacated on the flank.
Regularly caught shouting instructions at his team-mates to maintain their defensive shape, it was proving a difficult task as some were unsure whether to collectively press or contain City’s threat and try to counter with speed.
Chambers remained discipline as the last line of defence during instances where feloow defenders rushed out towards a dangerous ball. Here, his composure and alertness were important as he didn’t lunge into reckless tackles or try and force mistakes, instead delaying the opposition as long as possible to frustrate whilst teammates could get back to over him support.
His goal was well-taken, albeit from close-range during a goalmouth scramble after 77 minutes. Showing good awareness to remain in an onside position when the initial shot was taken, he reacted quickest to poke home and regain Boro’s slender advantage.
Despite this though, Boro couldn’t hold firm during the final few minutes of the second-half, and Gabriel Jesus headed home to help City snatch a late point.
Chambers was disappointed that he couldn’t help his team secure a second consecutive victory.
Chambers’ individual match statistics:
– 57.1% pass accuracy, 34 touches
– 9 completed clearances, 5 blocked shots, two interceptions, one tackle and one foul committed
(stats via Whoscored.com)