Match Report: Sunderland 2-0 Middlesbrough

Sunderland got back to winning ways after a dominant 2-0 victory over 10-man Middlesbrough inside a packed Stadium of Light.

The teams entered the break-all square after an entertaining first half, but second-half goals from Ross Stewart and Amad sealed the win for Tony Mowbray’s men.

Michael Carrick’s side played the second half a man less when Dale Fry was sent off within four minutes of the restart for denying Stewart a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Sunderland were provided with a golden opportunity inside the opening ten minutes when Amad intercepted Zack Steffen's miss-placed pass but his shot from inside the box rolled agonisingly wide of the far post.

The hosts started on the front foot in the opening stages, enjoying the majority of possession with Amad and Patrick Roberts combining well to cause the visitors problems down both flanks.

Stewart thought he had broken the deadlock after tapping in from close range half-way through the first half, but the linesman had already raised his flag for offside.

The visitor created their first clear-cut chance of the half after 35 minutes when Marcus Forss’ low strike from 18 yards out was superbly pushed wide by the fingertips of Anthony Patterson to keep the scores level.

Sunderland replied with a chance of their own minutes later when Roberts’ perfectly placed cross to the near post was blazed over by Stewart from close range.

Stewart was provided with another opportunity on the stroke of half-time but Steffen was equal to his effort to keep the scores level at the interval.

Sunderland got off to a flying start after the break when Stewart notched his 11th goal of the season albeit with a slice of luck.

The Black Cats were awarded a penalty after Stewart latched onto a delightful ball over the top by Roberts, catching the Boro defence napping.

The striker neatly collected the ball and advanced towards goal before being brought down inside the area by Fry.

The referee pointed to the spot and Fry was shown a straight red card. Stewart’s spot kick was initially saved by Steffen, but the ball fell nicely to poke home at the second attempt.

Middlesbrough came close to levelling half through the second half, but Riley McGree dragged his shot from inside the box inches wide of Patterson's far post.

Sunderland made their extra man count and doubled their lead with just 10 minutes left on the clock, Amad and Roberts again playing a neat one-two before Amad cut inside Hayden Hackney and fired his shot into the roof of Steffen’s net.

Mowbray’s men reduced Carrick’s team to half chances in the final few minutes, collecting all three points and another clean sheet.

The victory moves Sunderland up to 9th in the Sky Bet Championship just one point outside of the Play-Off places.

Sunderland Team: Patterson, Evans © (Michut 11’), Ballard, Roberts (Ba 82’), Stewart, Hume, Clarke (Bennette 82’), Neil, Batth, Alese (Wright 70’), Amad.

Substitutes not used: Bass, Dajaku, Taylor.

Middlesbrough Team: Steffen, Giles, Fry, McGree (Watmore 83’), Smith, Howson ©, Forss (Archer 64’), Crooks (McNair 52’), Lenihan, Akpom, Hackney.

Substitutes not used: Roberts, Jones, Hoppe, Bola.

Attendance: 42,594

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