Middlesbrough 1 Sunderland 0
Wed 26th Apr 7.45pm
Middlesbrough finally secured their first Premier League win since December at the expense of local rivals Sunderland at the Riverside.
Marten De Roon's early goal was enough to complete a league double and move the hosts within six points of immediate safety with four games remaining, while their opponents appear increasingly likely to make the drop.
Jermain Defoe had already driven straight at Brad Guzan by the time that Adam Clayton released de Roon to slot in his fifth goal of the campaign.
Black Cats' keeper Jordan Pickford then denied Stewart Downing before on loan defender Calum Chambers also shot wide; although Brad Guzan was required to thwart Didier N'Dong and Wahbi Khazri's free-kick after the break.
Former Boro Academy midfielder Lee Cattermole next proved wayward for the visitors as they continued to enjoy more possession during the second period.
However, the lively Downing could have increased Boro's advantage when drilling narrowly wide of the target late on - but neither side could find anything else.
Middlesbrough: Guzan, Chambers, Ayala (Fabio 54), Gibson, Friend, Clayton, de Roon, Forshaw, Stuani, Downing, Negredo (Gestede 76)
subs (unused): Konstantopoulos, Bernardo, Fischer, Bamford, Traore
Goals: de Roon (8)
Sunderland: Pickford, Jones, O'Shea, Denayer, Manquillo, Cattermole (Rodwell 84), Ndong, Gibson (Borini 65), Khazri (Januzaj 77), Defoe, Anichebe
subs (unused): Mannone, Lescott, Pienaar, Kone
Ref: M. Dean