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Last Updated:  Saturday, 22 February, 2003, 16:51 GMT
Sunderland surrender to Boro
Boro's players congratulate Riggott
Sunderland 1-3 Middlesbrough

Chris Riggott was the unlikely goal hero for Middlesbrough as they sent local rivals Sunderland spiralling towards relegation.

Central defender Riggott scored twice in seven minutes in the first half as Boro came out on top in the 122nd Tees-Wear derby.

A Kevin Phillips thunderbolt provided Sunderland with a slender chance of salvaging a point but Malcolm Christie's third for the visitors ended those hopes.

Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson was confident before the game that his side would avoid the drop.

Key incidents
21 mins: Riggott lashes Boro ahead
28: Another Riggott goal
56: Phillips raises Sunderland's hopes
59: Christie adds a third for Boro

But his side did little to mirror his belief as they surrendered tamely in front of their disgruntled fans.

Sunderland's Phil Babb, Julio Arca and Sean Thornton made way for Talal el Karkouri, Gavin McCann and David Bellion.

And the home side had the first chance of the match.

Black Cats captain Michael Gray found Jody Craddock with a free-kick but the defender's header was too close to Boro keeper Mark Schwarzer.

The mix up between Sunderland right-back Stephen Wright and keeper Thomas Sorensen was more an indication of events.

The hesitation between the pair as Michael Ricketts' header dropped allowed Franck Queudrue to head towards goal but a relieved Sorensen gathered.

Sunderland captain Michael Gray
Sunderland skipper Gray's frustrations show

Boro midfielder Geremi played Christie through after 21 minutes and his shot was saved by Sorensen at the expense of a corner.

Christie got a header in from Geremi's resultant cross and, even though he was again denied by Sorensen, Riggott was lurking to power home the rebound.

It was Riggott's first goal for the club since joining from Derby and, shortly afterwards, he added another to his tally.

Sunderland failed to clear another Geremi corner and Jonathan Greening put the ball back into the box.

Gareth Southgate struck the post but Riggott was in the right place at the right time once more to score.

A Kevin Phillips thunderbolt pulled one back for the home side to raise their hopes.

But Christie delivered a bodyblow to the Black Cats by scoring his first since arriving with Riggott from Derby as Boro regsitered their second Premiership away win of the sesaon.

Sunderland: Sorensen, Wright, Craddock, El Karkouri, Gray (Arca 72), Bellion (Piper 45), McAteer, McCann, Kilbane (Proctor 84), Phillips, Flo.
Subs Not Used: Macho, Babb.

Booked: Wright, Kilbane.

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Cooper, Southgate, Riggott, Parnaby, Boateng, Greening, Geremi, Queudrue (Murphy 76), Ricketts, Christie (Nemeth 82).
Subs Not Used: Crossley, Job, Maccarone.

Booked: Queudrue.

Attendance: 42,134.

Referee: M Halsey (Lancashire).

Links to more Eng Prem stories


BBC Five Live's Alan Biggs
"Boro controlled it without having to overstretch"



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