• FT

    Aston Villa

    2

    West Brom

    1

  • FT

    Arsenal

    1

    Bolton

    0

  • FT

    Everton

    2

    Hull

    0

  • FT

    Middlesboro

    1

    Sunderland

    1

  • FT

    Newcastle

    2

    West Ham

    2

  • FT

    Stoke

    0

    Liverpool

    0

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

The Riverside Stadium, England

Referee: Philip Dowd | Attendance: 29310

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Middlesbrough

  • Afonso Alves 45'

1 - 1

FT

Sunderland

  • Kenwyne Jones 82'

Middlesbro' 1-1 Sunderland: Jones rescues point

Forgotten man David Healy teamed up with Kenwyne Jones as Sunderland snatched a

precious derby point at Middlesbrough.

The Northern Ireland international crossed for his Trinidad and Tobago

counterpart to fire home an 82nd-minute equaliser just when it looked as though

Boro had ended an eight-game wait for a Barclays Premier League victory.

Gareth Southgate's men had taken the lead in the final minute of the first half

when winger Stewart Downing put a difficult week behind him to set up record

signing Afonso Alves, who blasted home his third goal in a week.

But had it not been for a goal-line clearance by Adam Johnson from fellow

substitute Carlos Edwards three minutes from time, the visitors would have left

the Riverside Stadium with all three points.

The late flurry provided an eventful conclusion to a largely uneventful game,

and there is little doubt that the travelling fans among a crowd of 29,310 on a

bitterly cold afternoon at the Riverside would have been the happier as they

headed off on their short journey back up the A19.

Boro were left to reflect upon what might have been, although Southgate would

have been disappointed with the way his side capitulated after losing impressive

central midfield pairing Josh Walker and Didier Digard to injury.

Downing, who spent much of the week in discussions with Southgate, chairman

Steve Gibson and chief executive Keith Lamb after seeing his transfer request

and at least two bids from Tottenham rejected, was included in the starting

line-up and his presence was greeted warmly when his name was announced.

By the time he and his team-mates headed for the dressing room at half-time,

his stock had risen further after a dreadful 45 minutes finally exploded into

life right at the end of the half.

Neither goalkeeper had been forced to make a save of any note as the clock

ticked into the 45th minute of a game which was crucial to both sides.

But it was then that Downing, playing just behind lone striker Alves, who

turned up on the right to collect the South American's pass and then return the

favour as the club's £12.7million record signing headed into the box.

Alves' finish was emphatic and left goalkeeper Marton Fulop stranded, sending

the home fans into raptures.

That brief cameo, however, was in stark contrast to much of what had gone

before with the two sides largely cancelling each other out.

Boro enjoyed the better of the few chances that came the way of either team,

Sunderland old boy Julio Arca firing just wide under pressure from Nyron

Nosworthy on the half-hour, and Tuncay Sanli and Digard both going just over

from distance.

At the other end, Djibril Cisse guided a weak 28th-minute header wide from

Danny Collins' floated cross, but other than that, the visitors created little.

That was as much down to the effectiveness of Boro's midfield, in which Digard

and teenager Walker were quietly impressive, as to their own failings, and

manager Ricky Sbragia had plenty of talking to do at the break.

Walker's afternoon, however, ended in tears just two minutes into the second

half when, after he had pulled out of an aerial challenge, he left the pitch in

some discomfort to be replaced by Johnson.

The newcomer lined up on the left side of midfield with Arca pushing inside to

join forces with Digard, and it did not take long for the youngster to make his

presence felt.

Downing broke with 53 minutes gone and picked Johnson out on the left, and he

cut inside before firing a right-foot shot into Fulop's midriff.

The game was becoming increasingly physical and Digard and Kieran Richardson

both needed treatment after an horrific clash of heads, the Sunderland man

earning a booking for his part in the incident.

Digard eventually admitted defeat and walked off with his head in his hands as

he was replaced by defender Matthew Bates, and Sbragia responded by sending on

Andy Reid for the ineffectual El-Hadji Diouf.

He was soon followed by Healy, and the Northern Ireland striker wasted little

time in making his mark, collecting Reid's 82nd-minute pass on the right and

squaring for Jones to beat Chris Riggott and Tony McMahon to the ball and

sidefoot past Ross Turnbull to snatch a point.

It might have been worse for Boro when Edwards got his head to Reid's late

corner, but Johnson was in the right place at the right time to rescue his

side.

Scoring Summary

  • Middlesbrough
  • Sunderland
Afonso Alves (45')

Match Stats

  • Middlesbrough
  • Sunderland
10(3) Shots (on goal) 12(2)
11 Fouls 13
2 Corner kicks 7
4 Offsides 5
52% Time of Possession 48%
0 Yellow Cards 4
0 Red Cards 0
1 Saves 2

Teams

  • Middlesbrough
  • Sunderland
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards