David Moyes tasted defeat in his first home game as Sunderland boss, with Cristhian Stuani’s brilliant brace handing Middlesbrough a 2-1 win in Sunday’s Wear-Tees derby at the Stadium of Light.
The Blacks Cats started positively in front of their expectant fans, but their early hard work was soon undone by a fine opening goal from Uruguayan forward Stuani, who found the net with a thumping long-range drive after 13 minutes.
The first-half then belonged to Boro, and they made their dominance count with a second goal on the stroke of half-time, Alvaro Negredo playing in Stuani to score again.
The pressure was then on the Black Cats to come back after the break and while they were more positive going forward, they struggled to break down the Middlesbrough back-four.
Sunderland’s persistent forward pressure eventually paid off when Jeremain Lens pulled one back on the rebound in the 71st minute after Duncan Watmore’s initial shot was well saved by Boro debutant Brad Guzan.
But it was too little, too late for the home side, as the stubborn Riversiders closed out a narrow, though deserved, derby victory.