Akpom bags 25th goal as Boro trounce Preston

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Chuba Akpom scored a goal and made an assist as Middlesbrough continued their impressive form under Michael Carrick comfortably beating Preston North End 4-0 to move within three points of second place in the Championship.

Akpom finished off an excellent team move with Cameron Archer to put the hosts ahead in the 22nd minute for his 25th goal of the season as Boro took control in the first half.

Archer got Middlesbrough’s second shortly after the restart as he blasted home having reacted to a mistake from Bambo Diaby.

The former Arsenal star Archer drilled in the third before Diaby was sent off for a second booking in the 88th minute. Marcus Forss capped Boro’s dominance by adding a fourth deep in stoppage time.

In Italy, Super Eagles defender Tyrone Ebehi scored the opener for Empoli, but it was not enough, as Ademola Lookman’s Atalanta staged a second-half comeback to secure a 2-1 victory at the Gewiss Stadium.

Atalanta were looking to snap a four-game winless run when they played hosts to Empoli who failed to win any of their previous seven.

Empoli boss Paolo Zanetti handed Ebuehi a starting shirt. Meanwhile, Lookman had to start from the bench for Atalanta.

Against the run of play in the 44th minute, Ebuehi scored for Empoli. The visitors went on a rare attack, and Atalanta failed to clear the ball after it was crossed in.

By some stroke of luck, the ball fell to Ebuehi and he simply poked it into the net to make it 1-0 to Empoli.

The visitors took the lead into the break, but Atalanta returned to the second half with more in their arsenal, and they got their equalizer through Marten de Roon in the 58th minute

Lookman was introduced into the game in the 67th minute, and nine minutes, Atalanta scored their second through Rasmus Hojlund to complete the comeback and seal the 2-1 victory for La Dea.

Ebuehi had a good game, he had three clearances, two blocked shots, and one tackle.

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