Gaston Ramirez's wonder-strike against Bournemouth 'no surprise' for Boro boss
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka claimed Gaston Ramirez's jaw-dropping solo effort against Bournemouth came as no surprise to him.
Ramirez opened his account for the season in quite remarkable fashion in Boro's 2-0 victory, charging down a shot in his own half, gliding past two men as he raced the length of the pitch and finishing with style.
Ramirez's time in England has been hit and miss, taking in mixed spells at Southampton and Hull, but he has found his place on Teesside.
And Karanka sees a player brimming with belief and capable of great moments.
"It was no surprise for me," the Spaniard said. "The main thing is he feels confident. When he is confident, he is an amazing player.
"I wanted him here last season and I said how important he is for this team. It is not a coincidence."
That was as effusive as the individual praise got for the 25-year-old Uruguayan, with Karanka keen to spread the acclaim after a first home win of the campaign.
"We have really good players, real quality players. It is easier to score goals when you play as a team," he said, deflecting the spotlight from his game-changer.
"This is the way we know how to play. This is the way we are in the Premier League.
"Behind Gaston we have 10 players, behind those 10 players we have another seven on the bench, and another six or seven in the stand.
"Today was important for us. It was a good day. We wanted to win at home especially because our crowd deserves the best. With them behind us, with our attitude, with our performance, we won the game."
Stewart Downing was on hand with Boro's second, prodding in at the far post after fine build-up work from Adama Traore and Alvaro Negredo.
It was the 32-year-old's first goal in almost 18 months but that is a minor wait compared to his last Premier League goal for his hometown club, which came in May 2008.
"I am really pleased because the work that he did today was amazing," Karanka said.
"Supporting (left-back) George Friend, supporting the midfielders, running back and forward. He deserves to play in that way and he deserves to score goals because he is another important player."
Little went right for the Cherries after Joshua King hit the bar with a classy touch off the outside of the boot with the score at 0-0.
And for all Middlesbrough's attacking verve, manager Eddie Howe felt his side contributed with some slack defending.
On Ramirez's creation, he said: "It was a disappointing goal from our corner. We were expecting to have an opportunity to score at one end and then we concede in the other seconds later.
"From the boy's perspective, he's taken it really well. From our perspective, we've certainly helped him.
"The two goals we conceded, we wouldn't have conceded in previous weeks when we've been very good at the back and very good off the ball. Today we weren't those things."
Howe also confirmed bad news for injured midfielder Andrew Surman.
"It looks like a hamstring. It looks like a big one. It's a big blow for us."