Cristhian Stuani

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Girona wins at winless Villarreal thanks to Stuani

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MADRID (AP) Villarreal’s struggles at the start of the Spanish league continued in a 1-0 home loss to Girona on Friday.

Cristhian Stuani scored shortly after halftime for the visitors, giving Villarreal its second loss in three matches.

[ MORE: Dembele sold to Lyon ]

Coming off a fifth-place finish last season, Villarreal opened with a 2-1 home loss to Real Sociedad, then drew Sevilla 0-0 in the second round.

Villarreal had a first-half goal disallowed for offside courtesy of VAR, which is making its Spanish league debut this season.

Girona also hadn’t won yet, having drawn with promoted Valladolid 0-0 and losing to Real Madrid 4-1.

Also, Eibar halted its two-match losing streak with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory against Real Sociedad.

Substitute Charles scored the winner with a header in stoppage time.

Sociedad has yet to win in five matches at Eibar’s Ipurua Stadium.

Getafe and promoted Valladolid played to a scoreless draw in Getafe’s Alfonso Perez Coliseum.

Defending champion Barcelona and Real Madrid are the only teams to open with consecutive victories. Madrid hosts Leganes at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Saturday, while Barcelona faces promoted Huesca at Camp Nou Stadium on Sunday.

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Middlesbrough 1-3 West Ham: Another big day for Big Andy

Richard Sellers/PA via AP
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  • Carroll scores twice
  • West Ham moves 10th
  • Boro stays 16th

Andy Carroll bagged a brace and Jonathan Calleri netted late as West Ham United continued its return to form with a 3-1 win over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

The win moves Slaven Bilic‘s Hammers 10th, on 28 points.

Christian Stuani scored Boro’s goal as the Teesiders remain four points ahead of the drop zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Carroll is finally healthy, and took advantage of poor marking from normally stingy Boro when he rose to power Manuel Lanzini‘s corner home.

But Aitor Karanka‘s boys had an answer, albeit on their first shot of the night. Calum Chambers‘ cross set up Stuani for a goal most would convert, and he did. 1-1.

Carroll had an answer, though, maintaining his red-hot form with a goal before halftime. He poked in a rebound from Michail Antonio‘s rip at Victor Valdes.

Argentine striker Calleri salted the result away, hitting a deflected shot beyond Valdes.

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West Ham 1-1 Middlesbrough: Payet wizardry saves Irons more blushes

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  • Irons winless in five PL matches
  • Stuani scores with GDS help
  • Boro winless since August
  • WATCH: Payet’s wondergoal

Cristhian Stuani‘s early second half goal was canceled out by more Dimitri Payet magic, as Middlesbrough and West Ham drew 1-1 at Olympic Stadium on Saturday.

The moribund Hammers were brought to life by Dimitri Payet, who dribbled through a maze of Boro defenders and cut a cute shot across the frame to level things minutes after Stuani’s goal.

West Ham’s point keeps it in the relegation zone, while Boro stays 16th with its sixth point of the season.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Sam Byram‘s day was very short, stretchered off within the first 10 minutes of the match with his head in his hands. Alvaro Arbeloa took the place of Byram, a big pick-up from Leeds in January.

Boro had some luck in creating chances, with Viktor Fischer just missing a goal, while West Ham had little cooking outside of Dimitri Payet. That’s been the case a bit too often this season.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Slaven Bilic hoped the introduction of Simone Zaza would spur his offense after the break.

Boro scored with the help of the Goal Decision System as the match reached the 52nd minute. A swept-in corner was headed far post by Cristian Stuani. Mark Noble was well-positioned by didn’t touch the ball before it crossed the line.

Payet then leveled the score with a fantastic move, dribbling from the left and moving all the way through the 18 as Boro defenders comically allowed him to waltz through en route to a great cut back shot. 1-1.

The Hammers got a dangerous free kick moments later, just off the 18. That’s Payet territory, but the French wizard hit the wall.

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

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  • 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.