Young Tav Shoots Down Sunderland
By Rob Nichols
Monday 06 Nov 2017 12:57:00
Browse all Match Reviews articles

It was a struggle and we were living on our nerves at time but Boro were victorious over neighbours Sunderland to march on into 5th place in the league. It was young Marcus Tavernier that provided the all-important goal in only the 6th minute. Boro did not go on to dominate but let’s face it, the result is what matters in a Tees-Wear derby.  1-0 to Boro is exactly what was required.

High noon on a bright but chilly Sunday and both teams and sets of fans first observed a minute’s silence ahead of Remembrance Sunday. Once the football action started Sunderland might easily have taken a shock lead but for the heroics of keeper, Darren Randolph. The Boro keeper was first the villain spilling the shot of Ndong but then he was straight up on his feet to somehow block the follow up of Lewis Grabban.

Just minutes later Boro raided down the right, Braithwaite whipped over a cross and Marcus Tavernier rushed across the goal to convert it at the front post. What a moment for the teenager. He scored his first cup goal away at Bournemouth and now he had his first League goal and what a way to start, against Sunderland.

Boro were unchanged from the side that beat Hull and Reading except for the return of George Friend for Fabio who limped out of the action at the KCom. The unchanged side could not get on top of the opposition for whom Cattermole and Gibson were very active through the centre. Randolph had to be on his toes springing to Boro’s rescue with several more excellent saves. No wonder he was awarded man of the match.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic as Boro continued to carve out chances, particularly down the right where Christie and Downing once again combine so well. Sunderland keeper Ruiter was also called into action. The hard-working Britt Assombalonga, the classy, inventive Martin Braithwaite and evergreen Stewy Downing were all denied by Sunderland’s goalie.

The 30 000 crowd were kept on their toes in the final minutes as Sunderland pushed forward. That one goal lead looked fragile at times but big Danny Ayala and Ben Gibson kept on heading the ball out of the danger area.

In the end the fireworks were mainly restricted to those opening exchanges. The game was won and lost from Randolph’s save and Tavernier’s clever finish. Boro might not have gone on to give a dominant performance but there would be few real grumbles around Teesside as the Boro had recorded a third successive victory. We had finally won at home again. We had defeated Sunderland yet again. For Boro it meant a surge up into the play offs and for managerless Sunderland crashing to the very bottom of the table. Who would have thought that?

A great way to go into the international break. Boro on a roll forward and looking like Garry Monk’s side has really begun to find its feet in the Championship. What would Sunderland give for that?

Middlesbrough 1-0 Sunderland - Tavernier



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