Mark Viduka scored a swift double early in the second half to add to Yakubu Ayegbeni's first-half strike and help Middlesbrough FC record a second successive victory in UEFA Cup Group D at the expense of FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.
The home side initially struggled to break down a disciplined Dnipro defence, but never looked back after Yakubu opened the scoring following an incisive move shortly before the interval. Viduka made certain of the points in the early stages of the second period, doubling the lead with a powerful strike and then sweeping in a third moments later.
Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren kept faith with the 3-5-2 formation that had proved so effective in Saturday's 4-1 defeat of Manchester United FC although he opted to introduce Doriva, James Morrison and Viduka. Dnipro coach Vadim Tishenko was able to welcome back Serhiy Nazarenko after a minor injury, although fellow midfielder Konstyantyn Kravchenko was only fit enough for the bench.
Given that the visitors kicked off without a recognised striker in their lineup, it was perhaps no surprise that Middlesbrough made the early running, Gaizka Mendieta twice and Franck Queudrue trying their luck from range. With both teams packing the midfield, space was at a premium, but the English side finally found a way through nine minutes before half-time as Yakubu cut in from the left and played a slick one-two with Mendieta before slotting a low shot past Artem Kusliy at his near post. Mendieta almost added a swift second, but this time the Dnipro goalkeeper beat out his swerving attempt.
Middlesbrough picked up where they had left off as the second half got under way, and trebled their advantage within eleven minutes. Mendieta was again involved in the second as he picked up possession on the left and, althoug he was tackled, the loose ball rolled to Viduka. A swift turn gave the Australian space on the edge of the area, and he duly found the top corner with a thumping shot. James Morrison then expertly controlled a high ball and, although Kusliy kept out his powerful strike, the Dnipro goalkeeper was helpless as the rebound drop perfectly for Viduka to roll into the unguarded net.
With the win assured, Middlesbrough eased off but had already done enough to secure first place in the section having defeated Grasshopper-Club on Matchday 1. The English side next travel to AZ Alkmaar on 24 November when Dnipro, still without a point, face PFC Litex Lovech.