Arnautovic brace sends Boro into bottom three

(Reuters) - Forward Marko Arnautovic's first-half double gave Stoke City a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough on Saturday and sent the visitors into the relegation zone for the first time this season.

A piece of brilliance from Arnautovic put Stoke ahead as he flicked Glenn Whelan's long ball past two defenders with a superb first touch before skipping past the on-rushing Victor Valdes and slotting the ball high into the net.

Peter Crouch rose highest to meet Whelan's corner and head the ball into the path of Arnautovic who flicked it past Valdes to double Stoke's lead in the 42nd minute.

Middlesbrough have now failed to score in four successive games and their winless run in the league was extended to 10 matches.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)