Boro edge Sunderland in derby
CRISTHIAN STUANI scored twice on his Premier League debut as Middlesbrough beat Sunderland in the first Wear-Tees league derby in seven and a half years.
Alvaro Negredo redo assisted both goals, with Stuani’s opener a brilliant ant 25-yard effort into the top corner.
The Spaniard d then unselfishly squared to Stuani for their second.
The Black Cats improved in the second half and Patrick van Aanholt anholt gave them hope when he turned home after Bradrad Guzan parried Duncan Watmore’s shot.
David Moyes’es’ side had been booed off after a first half which saw w them fail to test Boro debutant Guzan, replacing the injurednjured Victor Valdes.
But after a second-half revival, they almost had a draw when Guzan uzan fumbled another shot, but Donald Love turned the he rebound wide.
Middlesbrough’s ugh’s summer signing of Negredo on loan, only y a year after Valencia paid £21.25m for the striker from Manchester City, caused some surprise.
A haul of five goals in La Liga last seasonon meant his £100,000-a-week0-a-week wages would be a gamble for newly promoted Boro.
But a goal on his debut against Stoke was followed by another key performance. He set up the opener for Stuani, although the goal was very much of the Uruguayan’s own making as he smashed home from distance.
Negredo only assisted three goals in 40 games for Valencia last season, but had h i s second of the day when he could have gone alone. The 31-year-old Spain striker had space to shoot but instead, with goalkeeper Vito Mannone braced to attempt a save, Negredo rolled it across to Stuani to fire home.
Sunderland boss Moyes decided to st start with Paddy McNair, usually a defender, in midfield alongside Jack Rodwell. And when they needed a ta tactical reshuffle following an injury to centre-back John O’Shea, it was Rodwell, rather than McNair who dr dropped back to defence.
But when Moyes scrapped that experimentexpe at halftime time and replaced McNair with midfi midfielder Jeremain Lens, they made a game of it.
After the break they had more shot shots (14-3), more possession and more passes - having beenb behind on all of those counts in the first half.
But with 34-year-old debutant Stev Steven Pienaar the only Sunderland player other than Jer Jermain Defoe to have more than 10 Premier Leagu League goals in his career, they rarely looked like scoring - with the exception of Van Aan Aanholt’s goal. —