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Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 20:44 GMT 21:44 UK
Boro outclass Black Cats
Middlesbrough striker Massimo Maccarone takes on Sunderland defender Stephen Wright
Sunderland simply could not deal with Maccarone
Middlesbrough 3-0 Sunderland

Massimo Maccarone inspired Middlesbrough to an emphatic Tees-Wear derby victory over Sunderland.

The Italian striker scored one and tormented the Black Cats defence throughout with some devastating attacking runs to rouse the Riverside crowd.

The bald-headed forward was at the fore of Boro's best moves and provided strike partner Szilard Nemeth with his two goals.

Steve McClaren's decision to start with Nemeth, who came in for George Boateng, paid handsome dividends as the Slovakian struck up an immediate understanding with Maccarone in attack.

  Key incidents
17 mins: Szilard Nemeth scores for Boro
37 mins: Massimo Maccarone doubles Boro's lead
66 mins: Nemeth nets second

And the manner in which they bounced back from last week's Premiership defeat to Manchester United suggests that McClaren's men will be challenging for a place in Europe.

The foundation for their improvement has been firmly placed on the solid defensive partnership of Gareth Southgate and Ugo Ehiogu.

A win is a win and three points is tremendous, but to do it in a local derby makes it extra-special
Boro boss Steve McClaren

And while Southgate may have won his 50th England cap on Saturday, it was Ehiogu who impressed with another disciplined display.

Ehiogu snuffed out the limited threat posed by Sunderland debutant Marcus Stewart with ease.

Boro rose to the occasion, a fiercely-contested derby, in magnificent fashion and maintained their total dominance of proceedings.

Middlesbrough defender Ugo Ehiogu takes the ball away from Ipswich striker Marcus Stewart
Ehiogu was immense in Boro's defence

Sunderland boss Peter Reid must have realised he was in for a long evening as early as the fourth minute when a mistake by Thomas Butler let in Robbie Stockdale, whose shot was well saved by Thomas Sorensen.

However, the Sunderland keeper undid his good work soon after, failing to hold on to Maccarone's powerful shot from 20 yards. Nemeth pounced like a true predator and smashed the rebound home.

Shell-shocked Sunderland found themselves further behind on 37 minutes.

Boro's unrelenting forays into the Sunderland half were rewarded with a free-kick and from it came an unstoppable headed goal from Maccarone.

Claudio Reyna came closest to reducing the arrears for Sunderland, but his deflected free-kick went inches wide with Mark Schwarzer stranded.

We lost a bit of discipline in our play chasing the game and you can't afford to do that at this level
Sunderland boss Peter Reid

After the interval, Boro continued to press and extended their lead. Another breathtaking burst of pace by Maccarone took him past a static Sunderland defence.

The Italian's perfect pass found Nemeth, who lifted the ball over the advancing Sorensen to make it 3-0.

The Slovakian came within inches of completing a brilliant hat-trick two minutes later when he twisted and turned his way past Phil Babb and Joachim Bjorklund.

But he was denied by a fine save from Denmark international Sorensen, who spared Sunderland's blushes further with several excellent stops.

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Queudrue, Southgate, Ehiogu, Stockdale, Cooper, Job (Wilson 86), Geremi, Greening, Nemeth (Whelan 87), Maccarone.
Subs Not Used: Boksic, Marinelli, Crossley.

Booked: Stockdale, Greening, Queudrue.

Sunderland: Sorensen, Gray, Babb, Bjorklund, Wright, Butler (Bellion 74), McAteer, Reyna, Piper, Flo, Stewart.
Subs Not Used: Williams, Kyle, Thirlwell, Macho.

Booked: Piper, Stewart, McAteer.

Attendance: 32,155

Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).

BBC Five Live's John Murray
"Nemeth and Maccarone clicked"
Boro boss Steve McClaren
"I am pleased that we got the third goal"
Sunderland boss Peter Reid
"We were beaten too easily"
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