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A brace from Cristhian Stuani helped Middlesbrough to a 2-0 victory over Tees-Wear derby rivals Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
The newly promoted side struggled to make an impression on the game in the opening minutes but managed to get their noses ahead when Stuani hit a fantastic effort from long range into the top corner.
Sunderland’s intense pressing started to fade midway through the first-half and this allowed ‘Boro to add to their tally when Álvaro Negredo unselfishly passed to an unmarked Stuani at the back-post, who tapped home.
Despite been booed off at half-time by the home fans, Sunderland pulled one back in the 70th when the influential Duncan Watmore saw his shot parried away by Brad Guzan before Patrick van Aanholt arrived in the box to give his side a life-line.
David Moyes' side pushed hard for an equaliser late on but their opponents held firm to record a famous victory.
It has now been six years since Sunderland have recorded a victory, home or away, in the month of August in the Premier League.
It was the home team who started on the front foot and despite pressure early on they could not penetrate a solid ‘Boro backline.
However, against the early run of play Stuani surged with the ball from deep and fired an unstoppable effort past Vito Mannone.
The Black Cats' misery was compounded when captain John O’Shea was forced off after picking up a knock.
The hosts had loanee Adnan Januzaj, who has making a first start, as their most threatening outlet but often the final ball was lacking.
Aitor Karanka's side doubled their lead just before the break when Negredo was released and he unselfishly laid the ball off for Stuani to sweep home his second.
Sunderland pushed hard after the break for a way back into the game but struggled to create chances.
Van Aanholt's goal however, gave the home side hope but they gradually ran out of steam as they chased an equaliser and it was Middlesbrough who left with three valuable points.
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