Sunderland 1 Middlesbrough 2: Player ratings

Sunderland's home campaign got off to a losing start as North East rivals Middlesbrough claimed a 2-1 victory at the Stadium of Light.

Sunday, 21st August 2016, 2:21 pm
Updated Sunday, 21st August 2016, 3:24 pm
Adnan Januzaj enjoyed some bright moments on his home debut.

Two first half goals from Christian Stuani proved crucial as Boro got their first win on the board since being promoted back to the Premier League last season.

Patrick van Aanholt pulled one back for the Black Cats in a much better second half showing, but they were unable to complete the comeback.

Here are how the players rated...

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Vito Mannone: Had very little to do, apart from picking the ball out of his net twice with two goals he could do very little with. 6

Donald Love: Got about the pitch well and did a decent job at right-back. 6

Patrick van Aanholt: Arguably at fault for both of Middlesbrough's goals in a tough first half defensively for the left-back. Stood off Stuani for his first goal, and then dropped too deep for the second, playing Negredo onside before he presented Stuani with a tap-in. Then brought Sunderland back into the game with his goal, starting and finishing the move. 5

John O'Shea: His withdrawal in the first half through injury presents a further problem for David Moyes. 6

Papy Djilobodji: Started well, winning a towering header early on, and looked good in possession. Going to be crucial in the coming weeks if O'Shea's injury keeps him out. 6

Paddy McNair: Gifted Boro possession on a number of occasions, but was industrious and got about the park well. 6

Jack Rodwell: Was pushed back into defence when O'Shea went off after a decent start, and played decently there. 6

Duncan Watmore: Full of energy as always, and although his final ball on some occasions let him down, it was his effort which was parried by Guzan into the path of van Aanholt for Sunderland's goal. 6

Lynden Gooch: Struggled to get into the game in the first half, but buzzed around brilliantly after the break and was a key part of the momentum Sunderland managed to build. 7

Adnan Januzaj: The Manchester United loanee started the game very brightly, and provided George Friend with a difficult afternoon. However, he faded and his final ball did not deliver the goods Sunderland needed. 7

Jermain Defoe: Largely starved of any decent service, particularly in the first half, and the frontman wasted a good chance to make it 1-1 when his over-hit pass eluded Watmore. 6

Substitutes used:

Steven Pienaar (for O'Shea, 37): Pressed into action earlier than Moyes would have liked, but impressed in the centre of the park. 7

Jeremain Lens (for McNair, 46): Promising performance from the bench from the Dutchman. 7

Joel Asoro (for Watmore, 80): Came on in the closing stages. 6


Brad Guzan: 6

Emilio Nsue: 6

George Friend: 6

Antonio Barragan: 7

Ben Gibson: 7

Adam Forshaw: 7

Adam Clayton: 7

Stewart Downing: 7

Christian Stuani: 8

Gaston Ramirez: 6

Alvaro Negredo: 7

Substitutes used:

Albert Adomah (for Ramirez, 59): 6

Daniel Ayala (for Nsue, 81): 6

David Nugent (for Negredo, 90): 6

Referee -

Martin Atkinson: No major controversies. 7