Today's Tees-Wear derby may not promise much looking at the Championship table - but it’s a fixture that has often delivered drama.
Julio Arca, Craig Gordon, Stephane Sessegnon, even Michael Chopra and Jack Colback...derby heroes have arrived both expected and unannounced over the last 20-odd years.
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Here, we look back at seven of the fixture’s most memorable modern-day meetings.
Sunderland 1 Middlesbrough 2 – August 22, 2016
Just two games into the new campaign, David Moyes admitted his side were already in a relegation battle following Cristhian Stuani’s first-half double at the Stadium of Light.
Patrick Van Aanholt pulled one back for the Black Cats 19 minutes from time, but newly-promoted Boro held on to claim their first victory of the season.
Middlesbrough 1 Sunderland 2 - February 8, 2012
Stephane Sessegnon finally settled this FA Cup tie at the Riverside after bagging the winner in extra-time. The Benin international sealed the game in the 113th minute to send Martin O’Neill’s side through to the fifth round. Jack Colback had opened the scoring with a stunning first-half strike before Lukas Jutkiewicz netted the equaliser - but it was to be Sunderland’s night.
Sunderland 3 Middlesbrough 2 – April 26, 2008
A dramatic late winner from Daryl Murphy settled this gripping Premier League clash. Tuncay Sanli put the visitors ahead after just four minutes before Michael Chopra equalised
two minutes later. The game looked to be heading for a draw following goals from Michael Chopra and Afonso Alves, however Murphy’s header at the death sealed a Sunderland win.
Sunderland 2 Middlesbrough 0 – September 20, 2008
Boro paid the price for missing a series of first-half chances, including a Stewart Downing penalty which the winger blazed over the crossbar. Craig Gordon produced a man of the match performance for the Black Cats, who stole the game in the final 10 minutes. Michael Chopra netted a brace on his first appearance of the season, as Sunderland moved up to fifth in the table.
Middlesbrough 2 Sunderland 2 - September 22, 2007
More late drama saw Sunderland clinch a point at the Riverside in the seventh game of the 2007/08 campaign. After falling behind to Grant Leadbitter’s finish, Boro turned the match around courtesy of a Julio Arca free-kick and Stewart Downing’s long-range effort. However, Roy Keane’s side rescued a point at the death when Liam Miller fired home from 20 yards.
Sunderland 0 Middlesbrough 3 – January 31, 2006
Goals from Emanuel Pogatetz, Stuart Parnaby and Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink condemned Mick McCarthy’s side to a chastening defeat. Boro hadn’t won in nine games but compounded more misery on the Black Cats who remained bottom of the Premier League.
Sunderland 2 Middlesbrough 2 – October 14, 1996
Peter Reid’s Sunderland came from behind twice to take a point from the meeting at Roker Park. Alex Rae’s penalty drew the Black Cats level following Emerson’s opener. Boro retook the lead through Fabrizio Ravanelli in the 53rd minute before Craig Russell restored parity eight minutes later.