Six things learned from Sunderland's pulsating draw with Middlesbrough - Watford-target Asoro shines again, Coleman's conundrum

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Sunderland and Middlesbrough produced a thrilling encounter at the Stadium of Light.

Here's what we learned from the 3-3 draw.

Tony Pulis and Chris Coleman.

Tony Pulis and Chris Coleman.

Point gained or two lost?

Joel Asoro put Sunderland in front with a smart finish 11 minutes in, the hardworking Black Cats fully deserved their early lead. Yet within 13 minutes of taking the lead Jake Clarke-Salter’s rush of blood saw them down to 10 men.

We’ll never know if they’d have gone on to win the game if they had 11 players on the pitch but it forced a change to a back four and Boro - despite also going a man down - quickly gained the moment second half.

Credit to Sunderland for twice fighting back but it was still more points dropped at home.

Jake Clarke-Salter is shown a red card.

Jake Clarke-Salter is shown a red card.

Watford-target Joel Asoro continues to shine.

The 18-year-old has really grasped his opportunity under Chris Coleman and his second goal of the season will do his confidence levels the world of good.

He has been a constant pest in recent weeks, the one shining light in a string of poor results, and he gave the Boro defence a difficult afternoon at the Stadium of Light.

Watford are tracking Asoro ahead of the summer, Sunderland would do very well to keep hold of him.

Joel Asoro celebrates his goal.

Joel Asoro celebrates his goal.

Sunderland lack quality but show real spirit.

There is a reason why Sunderland prop up the Championship and that is because they lack quality, they haven’t scored enough goals this season and have shipped a staggering 61 at the back. Almost two goals a game.

Sunderland found their shooting boots against Boro but defensive frailties again cost them.

There was an abundance of spirit and togetherness on display though, certainly no lack of fight in this performance.

Where was it against Ipswich Town and Brentford recently?

Callum McManaman gives Coleman something to think about.

The winger had a point to prove against ex-West Brom boss Tony Pulis. He did so in glorious fashion.

Now he has a point to prove to the Sunderland fans. He has only made nine league starts since his arrival last summer, injuries preventing him a clear run of games.

His performances have generally been below par too but against Bolton and Boro he did make a positive impact from the bench.

Coleman will be weighing up whether to start him or keep him as an impact sub.

Will Clarke-Salter red lead to system change again?

With the Chelsea loanee sent off, Coleman reverted to four at the back and with Clarke-Salter now set to miss three games through suspension Coleman must decide how to set up defensively.

Does he keep faith with his preferred wing-back system and bring Tyias Browning into back three or keep faith with the four which would allow him to bring in an Aiden McGeady or Callum McManaman or Kazenga LuaLua when he is fit to return, further up the pitch.

At least Coleman has some good options for the final 12 nerve-shredding games of the season.

It’s not a derby but it had the feel of one.

How much drama can you squeeze into one game? A total of 104 minutes played, six goals, two red cards.

Oh, and a dramatic 96th-minute equaliser and controversial celebration in the opposing technical area.

The Stadium of Light had it all.

Chris Coleman was adamant this isn’t a derby, the only one that counts for Sunderland is against Newcastle United.

While it isn’t one, it certainly had the feel of one. Question is can it now spark a dramatic finish to the Championship campaign?