Sunderland 1, Middlesbrough 2
Sunderland manager David Moyes admits he is steeling himself for a long season fighting relegation after he suffered derby defeat in his first home Premier League match in charge.
Two goals from Uruguay forward Cristhian Stuani – the first a memorable long—range strike – helped newly promoted neighbours Middlesbrough to their first top-flight win of the campaign.
Full-back Patrick van Aanholt reduced the deficit but Sunderland slipped to a second defeat from two games, leaving Moyes to issue a sobering assessment of what the remaining 36 fixtures will bring.
“That’s where they've been every other year for the last four years, so why would it suddenly change?” he said of a relegation battle. “I don’t think you can hide the facts, that will be the case, yes. People will be flat because they are hoping that something is going to dramatically change. It can’t dramatically change.”
Stuani opened the scoring with a rasping 25-yard shot that sailed into the top corner and added a simple second from former Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo’s unselfish lay-off.
Van Aanholt reduced the arrears after half-time, pouncing on the rebound after Broro goalkeeper Brad Guzan had saved from England Under-21 star Duncan Watmore.