The Sky Blues came from behind to make the perfect start to 2024, with three points against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
City fell behind to a Josh Coburn header, but that lead would last a few minutes as Tatsuhiro Sakamoto drew the game level.
After the break, City made their dominance count as goals from Haji Wright and another for Sakamoto wrapped up the win for Mark Robins men.
It was the hosts who went closest to opening the scoring as a ball played through by Morgan Rogers was latched onto by Isaiah Jones and he rounded Brad Collins, but his shot was cleared off the line by Bobby Thomas.
City were withstanding the pressure from Boro, with Collins being called upon to produce a fine double stop to prevent Josh Coburn first and then Morgan Rogers on the follow-up.
From the resulting corner Michael Carrick’s side won, the ball dropped to Jones on the edge of the area and this time it was Josh Eccles who made an important block inside of the six-yard area.
Middlesbrough would eventually find a breakthrough on the half-hour mark, with Josh Coburn diverting a Jones ball into the box past Collins and into the back of the net.
However, City would only be behind for a matter of minutes before Tatsuhiro Sakamoto levelled. Josh Eccles whipped in a corner from the left and it was headed onto the crossbar by Bobby Thomas and then fell to Sakamoto and he rifled the ball past Tom Glover to draw the game level.
The goal put Mark Robins men in the driving seat, as they pushed to take the lead for the first time in the game, this time another Eccles cross fell to Haji Wright, but his shot was deflected behind.
Another City gave Boro a chance to break with Jones and Rogers, with the latter looking to beat Collins, only to be denied by a Luis Binks block.
The City shot-stopper was called into action moments later, getting his fingertips onto Sam Greenwood’s long range strike.
The last piece of action before the break saw City call upon the outstretched arm of Brad Collins once more, as he turned behind another Greenwood strike from distance.
HALF-TIME: Middlesbrough 1-1 Sky Blues
City started the second half on the front foot, looking to make their spell on top count, with Ellis Simms heading wide just a minute after the restart.
Then, Wright picked up the ball out wide, came inside and beat his man, before seeing his strike deflect behind off a Boro man.
The Sky Blues had a golden opportunity to take the lead when van Ewijk picked out Haji in the middle and he headed the ball down for Simms, but his first time strike went over the bar from inside of the area.
However, they wouldn’t dwell on that missed chance for long as they would make the breakthrough and this time it was Simms who saw his shot poked home on the line by Haji Wright to make it 2-1 at the Riverside.
That lead was doubled ten minutes later, and it was a second of the game for Sakamoto, as he got on the end of a fantastic ball into the box by Jake Bidwell, to head past Tom Glover.
Sakamoto came within inches of completing his hat-trick, but his shot deflected onto the post and Boro were able to clear their lines.
FULL-TIME: Middlesbrough 1-3 Sky Blues
Goals: Josh Coburn 31’, Tatsuhiro Sakamoto 34’, 69’, Haji Wright 59’
Yellows: Josh Eccles, Haji Wright, Morgan Rogers
Sky Blues Xl: Brad Collins (GK); Milan van Ewijk, Bobby Thomas, Luis Binks, Jake Bidwell; Ben Sheaf (C), Josh Eccles (Latibeaudiere 70’), Callum O'Hare (Dasilva 88’); Tatsuhiro Sakamoto, Ellis Simms (Godden 70’), Haji Wright (Palmer 82’).
Unused Subs: Ben Wilson (GK), Kyle McFadzean, Jamie Allen, Yasin Ayari, Fabio Tavares.
Middlesbrough Xl: Tom Glover (GK), Rav van den Berg (Kavanagh 85’), Dael Fry, Matt Clarke, Lukas Engel (Bangura 74’), Jonny Howson (C), Dan Barlaser, Morgan Rogers, Josh Coburn, Sam Greenwood (Gilbert 79’), Isaiah Jones.
Subs: Jamie Jones (GK), Hayden Coulson, Dan Nkrumah, Law McCable, AJ Bridge, Bryant Bilongo.