Sunderland 1-2 Middlesbrough: Stuani’s brace just enough for Boro

  • Stuani marked his PL debut with a first-half brace
  • Van Aanholt made it 2-1 with a late consolation goal
  • Middlesbrough’s first PL victory since April 11, 2009
  • [ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

    The month is August, and Sunderland are struggling. Again.

    After falling to Manchester City on the opening day of the 2016-17 Premier League season last weekend, the Black Cats dropped their second straight on Sunday, at home against newly promoted Middlesbrough, by a final score of 2-1 .

    The opener came with just 13 minutes on the clock, and it was one to remember (above video). Christhian Stuani unleashed a long-range effort that swerved across the face of goal and ‘keeper Vito Mannone. The next thing the ball touched was the inside of the side netting at the far post.

    [ MORE: Premier League standings ]

    Stuani doubled his tally and Boro’s lead on the stroke of halftime, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the vision and unselfishness of Alvaro Negredo. With every right to fire on goal himself, Negredo opted cut the ball across the face of goal for Stuani, who thanks to Negredo’s patience in the penalty area wound up all alone at the top of the six-yard box.

    [ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

    Sunderland pulled their back in the 71st minute, when Patrick Van Aanholt reacted quickest after Brad Guzan spilled the rebound following Duncan Watmore‘s bouncing effort from outside the box. The Dutch left back split a pair of Boro defenders and slotted home with ease.

    [ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

    With the defeat, David Moyes‘s side is without a single point from its first two games. Worse than Sunday’s result, though, was the familiar lack of resistence in giving away two goals, and their inability to fight their way back until so late on. Just like their last four seasons of PL survival.