Miller and Arca fire Cats to derby victory.
25 September 2005
Goals from Tommy Miller and Julio Arca earned Mick McCarthy’s Black Cats their first Barclays Premier League win of the 2005-06 season.
Having failed to pick up a win in a difficult opening six weeks, Sunderland came out on top with a resilient performance in the Wear-Tees derby.
Sunderland got off to a dream start, taking the lead after just 90 seconds, when Kelvin Davis' long punt unsettled the Boro defence and Gareth Southgate's attempt to intercept Andy Gray's flick only diverted the ball into the path of Miller, who crisply fired past Brad Jones in the Boro’ goal.
The Black Cats doubled their lead with a goal tinged with controversy as referee, Howard Webb, overruled the linesman's offside flag against Andy Gray to award Sunderland a free-kick for a foul on Miller - and Arca took full advantage by elegantly curling a free-kick over the wall.
Gary Breen and Stephen Caldwell were rocks at the heart of the Sunderland defence and Breen bravely threw himself in front of Franck Queudrue to block his goal-bound shot as Middlesbrough’s late pressure proved fruitless.
Sunderland: Davis, Nosworthy, Breen, Caldwell, Hoyte, Elliott (Le Tallec, 84), Whitehead (Lawrence, 89), Miller, Bassila, Arca, Gray.
Subs not used: Collins, Welsh, Murphy