Aitor Karanka, Middlesbrough gaffer believes his side showed they’re prepared to play in the EPL with their 2-1 win over Sunderland.
The promoted side recorded a 1-1 draw at home in the first match against Stoke. With the win over Sunderland, the first of this campaign.
Stuani’s stunning 13th minute strike from 25-yards out opened the scoring. And he completed his brace by rounding off a team effort on the stroke of halftime.
Patrick van Aanholt pulled one back for Sunderland in the second half but Boro held on for the victory, their maturity elating Karanka despite a relative lack of top-flight experience.
“The most important thing as always is the points. It’s always important to win, especially in a derby and for our crowd who have been waiting for this moment for a long time, so I’m pleased for the players and the crowd,” Karanka said in a post-match interview.
“The key was the first half. I told the players they would start at 150 per cent but with players of the quality of Cristhian Stuani we were able to score a first goal like that which opened up the game.
“The players showed we are ready for the season. We are playing well, compact and with intensity so it was important to get points as quickly as possible.”