The last seven Sunderland v Middlesbrough battles
Whether fans consider it a derby or not, the fact of the matter is that Sunderland v MiddlesbroughÂ will be the closest geographical rivalry for both teams next season.
Boro’s promotion from the Championship ended the Teessiders’ seven year absence from the top flight, while Sunderland’s traditional end of season revival was once again enough to keep them in the Premier League for the ninth successive season.
Newcastle’s relegation to the Championship means that Sunderland and Boro will be the North East’s only representatives in England’s top division, in a year where the ever-increasing TV money will be higher than ever.
Here’s a look back at the last seven Wear-Tees derby’s dating back to 2007.
1. Sunderland 0 Middlesbrough 1
Scott McDonald scored the only goal of the game as Tony Mowbray’s Boro side progressed to the quarterfinals of the Capital One Cup.
McDonald’s goal came in the 39 th minute when he tucked Ishmael Miller’s low cross past Keiren Westwood in the Sunderland goal.
Despite being the Premier side, Martin O’Neil’s team offered little in the final third, as Boro sent their 2,800 fans back to Teesside in a buoyant mood following a fifth victory in a row.
2. Middlesbrough 1 Sunderland 2 (AET)
The Black cats needed 210 minutes to come though this fourth round FA Cup tie but eventually prevailed in the replay at the Riverside.
Jack Colback gave the visitors the lead three minutes before half time, when his powerful volley cannoned in off the cross bar.
Boro responded and drew level 12 minutes after half time, when Cutis Main’s knock down was lashed home by Lukas Jukiewitz who registered his first goal for the club after signing from Coventry.
Extra time was needed to separate to two sides, and the tie was eventually decided when a mazy run from Stephane Sessegnon bounced back to the Benin international allowing him to steer home the winner in the 113th minute.
3. Sunderland 1 Middlesbrough 1
The original cup game at The Stadium of Light finished a goal apiece, after Boro’s Barry Robson had a part to play at both ends of the field.
The former Scotland international opened the scoring after just 15 minutes with a spectacular low volley from the edge of the Sunderland penalty area.
Robson’s error then led to Sunderland’s second half equaliser when he conceded possession to James McLean on the half way line.
The quick counter attack soon found its way through to substitute Fraizer Campbell, who had just returned from an 18 month injury, and his first time finish past Boro keeper Danny Coyne was enough to force a replay.
4. Middlesbrough 1 Sunderland 1
With both sides scrapping in the bottom half of the table, Sunderland managed to salvage a late draw in this Premier League encounter.
Alfonso Alves scored his first goal for over two months when he converted Stewart Downing’s cross with a powerful strike on the stroke of half time.
That goal appeared to have given Boro a vital three points at the Riverside; however they were denied with eight minutes to go courtesy of Kenwyne Jones’ late finish which rescued a point for Ricky Sbragia’s Sunderland.
5. Sunderland 2 Middlesbrough 0
Middlesbrough paid the price for a series of missed chances and squandered penalty from Stewart Downing, as they were beaten by two late goals at the Stadium of Light.
Boro were awarded a penalty 16 minutes from time when Nyron Nosworthy brought down Jeremie Aliadiere inside the area, yet Downing blazed the subsequent spot kick over the bar.
Minutes later Sunderland took the lead when Michael Chopra latched onto Kieran Richardson's pass to open the scoring.
As Boro pushed for an equaliser they were caught on the break, allowing Chopra to add a second in stoppage time to seal the victory for Roy Keane’s side.
6. Sunderland 3 Middlesbrough 2
Middlesbrough looked like they’d rescued a point in this dramatic contest, only to be denied by an unfortunate last minute own goal from Emanuel Pogatetz.
The visitors had taken the lead after just four minutes when Alfonso Alves’ lofted pass was converted by Tuncay Sanli, however they weren’t ahead for long as Danny Higginbotham equalised with a header two minutes later.
Sunderland took the lead when Michael Chopra shrugged off a challenge from Boro defender David Wheater, before lashing the ball past goalkeeper Brad Jones.
The game looked to be heading for a draw when Alves levelled things up with just 17 minutes remaining, yet there was still time for The Black Cats to grab a late winner when Daryl Murphy’s header deflected into the net off Pogatetz in stoppage time.
7. Middlesbrough 2 Sunderland 2
Sunderland snatched a late equaliser in the 125th Tees-Wear derby, in a match many fans will remember for the clash between Grant Leadbitter and Lee Cattermole - who have ironically gone on to represent the opposite sides.
On this occasion Leadbitter (then of Sunderland) opened the scoring for The Black Cats, when Michael Chopra’s shot ricocheted in to his path and allowed him to beat goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer from close range after just two minutes.
Boro equalised 13 minutes later when Gary O'Neil's cross was headed in by ex-Sunderland midfielder Julio Arca, before Stewart Downing fired the hosts ahead with a long rang daisy-cutter into the bottom corner.
However the drama didn’t stop there, as a spectacular late volley from Liam Miller meant the points were shared on an action-packed afternoon at the Riverside.