Middlesbrough beat Birmingham City 1-0 on Saturday afternoon, a victory which resulted in Tony Pulis' side climbing to the top of the Championship.
Key to their victory was Jonny Howson, who pulled the strings in midfield and dictated the pace of the game throughout the 90 minutes. Despite only winning the game by a solitary goal, the home team looked a level above their Championship competitors, with Howson at the heart of most things.
Howson played a key role in the only goal of the game, laying off a superb weighted pass for teammate Britt Assombalonga to neatly curl home in the 12th minute. But it was Howson's general tempo of play which caught the eye of the Middlesbrough fans inside the Riverside Stadium. With his continuous running and link-up play between the attacking players, Howson looked a level above the rest.
Key to Howson's success this season will be how long he can stay fit, with the player having sustained several injuries with his former clubs Norwich City and Leeds United.
Middlesbrough's next game comes away to Bristol City and Howson will be hopeful that his eye-catching performance against Birmingham can leave his manager with no option but to play him.
Here are the best of the social media reaction to Howson's performance:
Thought Jonny Howson was 10/10 today. Never stopped #UTB— Cockney****UTB (@Borolad12345) August 11, 2018
jonny howson best player on the pitch today by a country mile— mick (@utb_223) August 11, 2018
What’s happened to Ryan Shotton? Outstanding again...— JT (@JJohntodd) August 11, 2018
Jonny Howson is running this team now, he’s irreplaceable at the minute, up the Boro love this momentum...⚽️
Jonny Howson outstanding today.— Andy (@AppleAndy82) August 11, 2018
Should have had a goal. #borolive
@bbcteessport Britt scored but it was a moment of brilliance from Jonny Howson that won it. Great tackle & ball to Britt helped win the game but overall it was his best game in a Boro shirt. He was everywhere. Great start after selling best players but more bodies needed #UTB— Kevin Scott (@Kevscott1982) August 11, 2018
Jonny Howson is absolute class— BethyLou (@Jacksonbeth) August 11, 2018
Anybody that knows me knows that I love Jonny Howson and say he is brilliant every game.. But today he was outstanding! Been our best player so far, looks fit, sharp and pulling every string right now! Love him— Lewis Thompson (@LewisThompson7) August 11, 2018
Remember the jonny Howson haters? Where are you now? The man is unbelievable— AllAboutMFC (@BoroErimus) August 11, 2018
Jonny howson quality remember him being bood?— Ben Hutchinson (@benny_hutch) August 11, 2018
Well, my friends, we did it again! Bro 1-0 Birmingham. The result doesn’t do justice to the game. We hit the post twice and the crossbar once. They were never really on the game. I take my hat off to Jonny Howson, he was excellent but Stewie Downing was again my man of the match— James King (@jwking23) August 11, 2018
There’s gravy....and then there’s Jonny Howson. Different Gravy.— cam (@campark_) August 11, 2018
Jonny Howson gets nowhere near as much credit as he deserves— we are boro (@weareboro) August 11, 2018
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