BBC Sport

Middlesbrough swept aside Millwall with three goals in the first 20 minutes as Neil Warnock's side continued their fine form at home.

Watmore, making only his sixth Middlesbrough appearance after being signed as a free agent last month, was central to the victory.

He scored a brace in Boro's last game at the Riverside - a 2-1 win over Swansea - and followed that up with two more to ensure a sixth home win in nine league games.

Only Watford have a better home record than Warnock's team, who scored three in the first half for the first time since August 2018.

Teesside Live

If the first half against Millwall was all about pace and positivity, the second was a story of composure and control.

Boro were equally as impressive in both periods, blasting the sorry Lions away and then comfortably keeping them at arm's length to see out a victory that was exactly what was needed after the Stoke and Preston setbacks.

Marcus Tavernier and Duncan Watmore got the goals and the duo were at the heart of all of Boro's good play in the first half an hour. They were bright, fast, full of intent and their energy was contagious.

Three goals up after 20 minutes, it's easy to get greedy. Boro didn't put the brakes on, they had the chances to score four, five and six but they impressively avoided any anxiety by managing the game and coasting to the points.

Northern Echo

Impressive Middlesbrough, who had lost their previous two games, were full of intent from the first whistle and Millwall found it hard to come to terms with them.

That meant the Lions, whose winless run now stands at ten Sky Bet Championship games, were unable to make a real fight of this in the second half.

Middlesbrough, who had gone unbeaten in ten before a recent run of four defeats from six games, were dangerous from the off and passed the ball around well in the final third.

News At Den

The contest was over inside the first quarter, by which time George Saville had played a significant part in helping to undermine his former employers.

The Northern Ireland international, who left The Den two years ago in an £8m deal, set up two for the rejuvenated forward Duncan Watmore, either side of a precise finish from Marcus Tavernier.

Middlesbrough have found goals hard to come by this season, but that changed as they ruthlessly exploited an utterly lethargic start from the visitors lacking in any sense of urgency or tempo.

Both teams opted not to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, instead gathering together in the centre circle prior to kick-off behind the anti-racism banner: Equality; United for Change.

It proved to be the closest Millwall got to their opponents for most of the afternoon, as they were undone by the hosts’ slick passing and intelligent movement off the ball, from which they reaped three goals in the space of seven minutes that Rowett will want to forget.