Friday 24 November 2017

De Roon the hero

Middlesboro 1 Sunderland 0

Middlesbrough celebrate. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Middlesbrough celebrate. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Marten de Roon fired Middlesbrough to victory in the desperation derby as Sunderland's hopes of another remarkable Premier League escape were dealt a potentially fatal blow.

The 26-year-old Dutchman, a £12million summer signing from Atalanta, struck just nine minutes into a tense relegation showdown between the bottom two to secure a first league win since December 17 and leave the locals among a crowd of 30,742 daring to believe survival is a possibility for their club.

It remains a tall order, with Steve Agnew's men still six points adrift of safety with only four matches to go, but they are significantly better off than the Black Cats, who are six points further adrift with just a single game in hand.

Adam Clayton's ball over the top left defenders Billy Jones and John O'Shea trailing in De Roon's wake and he controlled with his chest before stabbing a shot past the advancing Jordan Pickford.

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