With Arsenal flailing in the race for a Champions League berth, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil delivered in a game the club really needed to win to keep its top-four hopes alive.
Arsenal earned a 2-1 win away from home on Monday, pulling within seven points of fourth place Manchester City (with a game in hand), on goals from the Chilean and German stars.
Alexis's free kick from over 20 yards broke a first-half deadlock and gave Arsenal a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.
Alexis lined up the straightaway attempt and delivered a curling beauty with his right foot the left U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan with no chance in the 42nd minute.
Middlesbrough came out of the locker room reinvigorated, though, and equalized in the 49th minute through Alvaro Negredo. Stewart Downing lofted a curling cross forward, and Negredo was first to it, delivering a flying redirect to stab home the goal and make it 1-1.
Arsenal went back in front in the 71st minute through Ozil. The German midfielder finished from close range after Aaron Ramsey's chested-down assist off Alexis's delivery to restore the one-goal advantage and give Arsenal it's eventual game-winning strike.
The win was Arsenal's first away from home in the league since Jan. 14.
The loss, meanwhile, is another blow for Middlesbrough, which is battling relegation remains six points away from safety, with one game in hand on 17th-place Hull City.