Middlesbrough player ratings vs Sunderland: How did Boro match-up during derby day?

A double from Cristhian Stuani ensured Boro earned their first win in the top flight since 2009, but Adam Forshaw stole the show on his full Premier League debut.

Middlesbrough player ratings vs Sunderland: How did Boro match-up during derby day?
George Friend (L), Ben Gibson and Brad Guzan celebrate Boro's first three points | Photo: Getty

Middlesbrough's first Premier League away game since being relegated at West Ham over seven years ago ended in victory for Aitor Karanka's side.

A stunning opener from Uruguayan Cristhian Stuani in the 13th minute, came somewhat against the run of play before Stuani doubled his Premier League tally by knocking in a pass from Alvaro Negredo.

Patrick van Aanholt pulled one back for David Moyes' men, but it proved to be fruitless as Middlesbrough held out for the win.

Forshaw the star man

Brad Guzan - 5 - A fairly quiet first half for the former Aston Villa 'keeper, but he was called into action in the second half and the American looked shaky at best with balls flashing across his goal. He was also at fault for Sunderland's goal, as a low shot from Duncan Watmore was parried straight into van Aanholt's path and the left back put the ball into the open net.

Emilo Nsue - 6 - Nsue put in a good performance at the Stadium of Light today and looked strong going forward. The Equatorial Guinea captain, however, had a much easier game, defensively, than he had last week when up against the power and pace of Marko Arnautovic.

Antonio Barragan - 6.5  - The Spanish right back once again filled in at centre back for Boro, with Ayala not deemed fit enough to start. He looked steady alongside Gibson, with some frailties beginning to show when under pressure.

Ben Gibson - 7 - The Boro-born stopper, who yesterday signed a new contract on Teesside, was exemplary at the back - just as he had been against Stoke City. Gibson dealt well with the threat of Jermain Defoe as well as bringing the ball out from the back on a couple of occasions.

George Friend - 7 - A typical George Friend performance. Apart from being the wrong side of Adnan Januzaj on two occasions in the game, Friend did not put a foot wrong. He showed his attacking prowess throughout the game, including when his pull back for Negredo earned Boro a corner.

Adam Clayton - 6 - Clayton picked up an early booking in the game and it was clear to see this weighing on his mind. He wasn't nearly as aggressive and tenacious as fans on Teesside have become used to. A sliced shot has become customary for the man who has made headlines with a picture after the match rather than for what he did during.

Adam Forshaw (Man of the match) - 8 - Starting your first ever Premier League game might be daunting for some people. Not for Adam Forshaw, however, as the man who came on for the injured Marten de Roon against Stoke played his best game in a Middlesbrough shirt today. He was always closing down the Sunderland players looking to break up their attack. Forshaw was also the first player to look to press the Sunderland team when the ball fell outside of the box.

It takes a special performance to take MOTM away from a player who scores a brace and Adam Forshaw came up with that performance today.

Adam Forshaw battles for the ball with Jermaine Lens | Photo: Getty
Adam Forshaw battles for the ball with Jermaine Lens | Photo: Getty

Attack, aside from Stuani, fails to excite

Cristhian Stuani - 7.5 - Any player who scores twice in a game would expect to be coming away with the MOTM award. There is no denying that Stuani won Middlesbrough the match with his two goals, but those goals were Stuani's only real contribution to the game. Stuani's defensive frailties which cost him a regular starting place were evident, but that can be forgiven when he wins the game for your team.

Gaston Ramirez - 6 - If last week we saw the best of Gaston Ramirez, then this week we saw possibly his worst side. He went missing for large parts of this game and the spark that he provided against Stoke, where he could turn and run at defences was missing. Middlesbrough look a much better side with Ramirez firing on all cylinders.

Stewart Downing - 6 - Today's performance from Downing showed improvements from last week's. The number 19 made adventurous runs down Sunderland's right hand side, but Downing would still rather pass the ball off than take his man on. The only width, it seems, when Downing plays is from George Friend bombing forward.

Alvaro Negredo - 6 - Negredo racked up two assists for his hard work today, but after Ramirez was substituted he looked stranded up top with balls being fired at him and no-one around. Overall he will be frustrated with not scoring against a centre back partnership for Sunderland of Jack Rodwell and Papy Djilobodji.


Albert Adomah (59') - 5 - Adomah cut a very tired figure, when he was substituted on in the 59th minute. He finished the game looking like he had played all 90, not just 30. Adomah's impact was little to none as what he brought to Boro when they had the opportunity to counter attack, they lost by relinquishing Ramirez for him.

Daniel Ayala and David Nugent - N/A - Both came on with minutes remaining and had little time to make an impact.