What a crazy game. Just about anything that could happen, happened.
It was ultimately an extremely frustrating result in a match that should have been an easy win.
In fact, it was a perfect microcosm of Boro’s entire season; it contained everything that’s been good and bad about the season so far.
Boro have often been criticised for starting games slowly and often fall behind in the opening periods of matches.
We have conceded 7 goals in the first 15 minutes of matches this season, which is more than a fifth of the total goals conceded.
Against Sunderland it was the same old story, ceding the advantage to a poor team and leaving themselves too much to do.
Adama Traore’s red card was his second of the season and Boro’s fourth in total.
Only two other teams have had more players sent off. Interestingly, Jake Clarke-Salter was also the fourth opposition player to be sent off against Boro this season.
It is obviously a very frustrating habit – making it harder for the rest of the team to get into a game.
Particularly in the case of Traore who is relied up on as our most creative outlet.
Coming from Behind
Boro may have a bad habit of conceding early goals, but at least they often find their way back into games.
We have 13 points from losing positions this season, which is the joint fourth in the league.
It often feels like the players need to concede a goal to wake them up, and makes you wonder where we’d be if we didn’t keep conceding first.
If it wasn’t for Sunderland’s late late equaliser we’d have the third highest along with Millwall.
Boro’s struggles to score goals at The Riverside are well documented, but away from home it’s a whole different story.
They now have the second best away goals record, with only Fulham scoring more (naturally Boro lost 1-0 at home to them).
This was the fifth time this season that Boro have scored 3 goals away from home in the league. In comparison, they’ve only managed it twice at home.
Penalty for Boro
Leadbitter’s penalty was Boro’s fourth goal from the spot this season, the joint third highest in the league.
If it wasn’t for Britt Assombalonga’s ridiculous miss against Reading a few weeks ago, we would be joint second!
Costly late goals
Boro have only conceded 6 goals in the last 15 minutes of matches, which is pretty low. The problem is that all of them have been costly.
Without those goals, assuming all other goals were scored in those matches, we would have an extra 8 points which would put us comfortably in 4th place.