Ramirez pulls Boro to safety
Middlesbrough 1 Hull City 0
Gaston Ramirez headed his second goal of the season as Middlesbrough made hard work of claiming a crucial Premier League win over relegation rivals Hull at the Riverside Stadium.
The Uruguayan marked an impressive performance by stooping to head home a Viktor Fischer corner on the hour and end his side's worrying run of three straight top-flight games without a win.
Boro dominated throughout and missed a catalogue of chances against the woeful Tigers who nevertheless almost grabbed an unlikely point in injury time through Adama Diomande.
Boro had much the better of an eminently forgettable first half, even if the Tigers did fashion the first chance when Sam Clucas was dispossessed on the edge of the box by the alert Marten de Roon. De Roon played a neat through-ball to Alvaro Negredo who should have done better than blast his shot over the bar.
The second half continued in the same vein, before they finally made the breakthrough on the hour. Fischer, preferred to Adama Traore, delivered his dangerous set-piece from the left and Ramirez stooped at the far post to nod home from point-blank range.
But out of nowhere Diomande almost became Hull's unlikely hero when his speculative long-range effort was flapped around the post by Boro keeper Victor Valdes.
From the resulting corner by Snodgrass, Ahmed Elmohamady flicked on and the stretching Diomande was inches from connecting for what looked a certain goal in injury time.