The second matchday of the new season saw Sunderland and Middlesbrough, separated by just 35 miles, collide against each other and it was the Premier League new boys who came out as winners. Going into the game, Boro were perhaps slight favourites despite being promoted after seven years. They had a more stable team as opposed to Sunderland who were far from their best team.
David Moyes started his campaign at home with a defeat against the rivals. After a 2-1 loss to Manchester City last week, it was again a 2-1 scoreline and the Black Cats were on the wrong side of it. Two Christian Stuani goals in the first-half gave Boro a commendable 0-2 lead but were pegged one back by bombarding Sunderland full-back Patrick van Aanholt. The away side held on and picked up their first win of the season.
Here are the player ratings for Boro against Sunderland.
Brad Guzan: 3/5
Made a few decent saves on his debut and denied van Aanholt once. He was eventually beaten by the Dutchman but did not have much to do about it.
Emilio Nsue: 3/5
Dealt with Gooch really well and offered plenty of going forward.
Antonio Barragan: 3.5/5
The Spaniard did really well to deal with ever-dangerous Jermain Defoe. Read the game really well and intercepted dangers.
Ben Gibson: 3.5/5
A committed game from the defender. Made a crucial block denying Defoe.
George Friend: 2.5/5
Was teased by Januzaj throughout the game but somehow managed to do enough. Did well while bursting forward.
Adam Clayton: 3.5/5
Was the reason why Boro were dominating the midfield area. A brilliant game from the midfielder. Booked!
Adam Forshaw: 3.5/5
Covered every blade of grass and made a brilliant pass initiating the move for the second goal.
Stewart Downing: 3/5
Had a good game. Looked lively when he had the ball and worked hard for the team.
Gaston Ramirez: 3/5
Opened up spaces behind the defenders. Passing was good from the Uruguayan. A rare game where he did not make the headlines.
Christian Stuani: 4.5/5
Man of the match! Scored a goal of the season contender in early minutes to give Boro the lead. The second goal was not that much of an individual brilliance from him but he did well to convert a perfect team effort.
Alvaro Negredo: 3.5/5
Set up Stuani selflessly for the second goal. Missed a golden chance to make it 3-0 and put the game beyond doubts.
Albert Adomah (for Ramirez, 59): 2.5/5
Did a decent job after replacing Ramirez.
Daniel Ayala (for Nsue, 81): NA
David Nugent (for Negredo, 90): NA