Huddersfield Town moved to within one point of the Championship’s automatic promotion places as they dented Middlesbrough’s play-off hopes at the Riverside stadium.
Naby Sarr opened the scoring for the visitors just before half-time, nodding home Jordan Rhodes’ header across goal following a Sorba Thomas wide free-kick.
And Rhodes rounded off the win against his old club with a composed finished on the counter-attack on the hour mark having been played through by Lewis O’Brien.
Middlesbrough came closest in the 88th minute when Riley McGree struck the underside of the crossbar, but were otherwise toothless in attack.
Huddersfield’s win saw them strengthen their third-place position, going just one point behind second-placed Bournemouth.
However the Terriers’ chances of going up automatically as part of the Championship’s top two remain slim, having played three games more than the Cherries.
Carlos Corberan’s side are realistically fighting for a spot in the play-offs with their victory putting them 10 points clear of Middlesbrough in seventh having played two games more.
They had the better of the opening exchanges, with Boro defender Sol Bamba forced into an error, nearly lobbing his own keeper Luke Daniels early in the first half.
Once they went in front, Huddersfield dominated as Daniels did well to save a Josh Koroma shot when the forward was clean through in the 53rd minute.
Middlesbrough struggled in attack throughout, managing only two shots on target.
The loss saw the hosts’ torrid recent Championship form continue. Boro have now failed to win any of their past four, losing three games in that stretch.
A win would have seen them return to the top six. Instead they stay just outside the play-offs, two points behind Sheffield United in sixth having played one game fewer.
Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder, speaking to BBC Tees:
“After 30 minutes we were in complete control of the game against a side who is also fighting to get out of this division as much as we are.
“I thought we were comfortably the better team we just didn’t find that last little bit yet again.
“We had the majority of play and the majority of possession. It was a nearly performance.”
Huddersfield head coach Carlos Corberan, speaking to BBC Radio Leeds:
“Our team worked really hard and really well. In defence we concentrated to stop them because we know how difficult it is to come here away.
“But I think the strong mentality from our players, from our keeper to our striker, was massive and they gave us a deserved win today.
“It’s always important to grow as a team. To keep working and improving our mentality.”
Match ends, Middlesbrough 0, Huddersfield Town 2.
Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 0, Huddersfield Town 2.
Attempt blocked. Marc Bola (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Isaiah Jones.
Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jonathan Russell (Huddersfield Town).
Foul by Marc Bola (Middlesbrough).
Josh Koroma (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Aaron Connolly (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Josh Coburn.
Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Scott High (Huddersfield Town).
Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Scott High replaces Jordan Rhodes.
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Pipa.
Attempt blocked. Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Riley McGree (Middlesbrough) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Anfernee Dijksteel.
Foul by Jordan Rhodes (Huddersfield Town).
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Naby Sarr.
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Tom Lees.
Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.