MATCH REPORT: Boro 2 Marseille 0

Boro capped off their pre-season campaign with a solid 2-0 victory over Marseille, in front of a crowd of 14,000 at the Riverside Stadium.

A lightning-fast breakaway goal from Isaiah Jones and a fresh, clean finish from Marcus Tavernier ensured Chris Wilder finished Boro’s pre-season preparations in the perfect way, against a squad brimming with experience international.

The Ligue 1 side will face Europe’s elite in the Champions League next season, but it is the Teessiders who start the brighter contest of the two, claiming the majority of possessions in the game’s opening rallies.

Duncan Watmore’s snarl earned the hosts a free-kick just outside the box, but Marcus Tavernier couldn’t test Pau Lopez in the Marseille goal.

Minutes later, Boro quickly drilled the right through Matt Crooks with Isaiah Jones’ whipped delivery slightly past a hiding Tavernier.

The quality of the Ligue 1 side then began to show and Arkadiusz Milik could have scored a hat-trick in the first half had it not been for a wayward finish and a fine save from newly signed goalkeeper Zack Steffen , who this week joined on a season-long loan from Manchester City.

The Poland international quickly trailed two goals clear of the post before Steffen’s considerable presence blocked his right-footed strike.

In a turbulent few minutes for the Marseille leader, Milik was then unable to capitalize on a loose back pass from Anfernee Dijksteel as Steffen’s decision spared the blushes of his teammates.

With just eight days left until the start of the new Championship season, Chris Wilder fielded the same 11 for the start of the second half, which started in the same vein as the first 45.

After netting three assists against Morecambe on Tuesday, Ryan Giles was unlucky not to add another to his collection as his low cut found Matt Crooks in the box, but his first shot was saved well by Lopez.

Although Boro didn’t have long to wait before the stalemate was broken.

Isaiah Jones’ charge down the field was briefly intercepted by late defender Leo Balerdi, but his persistence paid off as the Boro man quickly stole the ball before sliding it under Lopez, to give the Teessiders a well deserved advance.

Marcus Tavernier then put the game beyond doubt 20 minutes later, slotting the ball coolly into the bottom right corner after excellent hold-up play on the edge of the area from Matt Crooks.

Moments later, it could have been three. Riley McGree connected vigorously with a first volley but Lopez did well to drive the shot home safely.

In the dying embers of the match, Ryan Giles also had the chance to add to the scoreline, meeting substitute Chuba Akpom’s perfect cross, although the Wolves loanee was unable to deflect his effort on target .

Zack Steffen also made a fine save moments from the end to keep his clean sheet intact, saving Cedric Bakambu’s close-range shot before Jonathan Clauss could fire the rebound into the side netting.

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