Chopra Aims To Punish Boro Again!

Last updated : 08 January 2009 By Boro Mad
The striker is back from his loan at former club Cardiff City scored both goals in Sunderland's 2-0 home win over Boro in September and also netted in last season's Stadium of Light success against the Teessiders.

Chopra: "I think this would be the fourth derby I've been involved in this season, and I haven't lost one yet, so hopefully that can continue.

"I was involved in the Cardiff-Swansea derby in November. It wasn't the same as North East derbies, but the rivalry was still there.

"Going back to Cardiff was good; I really enjoyed it.

"They have some good players down there. We had a good run of games down there and I think they've got a great chance of going up.

"It was pleasing for me to get some goals. Goalscorers are judged by goals and if you're not scoring you'll be criticised.

"But my record at Sunderland this season was pretty decent, two goals in five games, and I scored five in 11 for Cardiff, so it just reminded people that I can score goals.

"It was disappointing not to be getting a run of games (before the loan), you lose your fitness. It was a chance for me to go out on loan, get some games under my belt and get my fitness back.

"I'm back now and I'm raring to go."

Sunderland 2 Middlesbrough 0
by Footymad
A late double salvo from Michael Chopra gave Sunderland the bragging rights in the Wear-Tees Derby.

The striker, who has been battling personal demons of the field, has only recently returned from the Sporting Chance clinic but showed no signs of match rustiness as he set the Sunderland fans home from the Stadium of Light with a smile on their faces.

Their Teesside rivals will no doubt feel somewhat aggrieved to have had to make the journey back down the A19 empty-handed.

Middlesbrough had after all looked the most likely to score in an opening half of a game which never really got going till the latter stages.

It was to be a case of ruing the ones that got away for Gareth Southgate's men, who should have been in front as early as the 18th minute.

Boro winger Stewart Downing cut inside to fire a powerful shot at goal but Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon was equal to the test and pulled off a good save.

Three minutes later the hosts had a good opportunity of their own. Kieran Richardson sent in a deep cross from wide on the left and Pascal Chimbonda rose at the back post.

Unfortunately the French man couldn't get any real purchase on his header and the ball drifted harmlessly wide.

After that Middlesbrough seemed to be in the driving seat, but £12.7million man Afonso Alves had obviously left his shooting boots back on Teesside.

The striker managed to get in behind the home defence on several occasions but each time his shot was straight at Gordon.

With the break looming lady luck smiled on Roy Keane as he was forced to shuffle his pack.

The Sunderland boss brought on Michael Chopra for the injured Teemu Tainio and went with a more attacking 4-4-2 formation.

At the time Keane couldn't have known just how fortunate the injury to the Finland international would prove, but there was no doubt that Irish eyes were smiling as Chopra proved to be Sunderland's super sub.

In the second half the game continued to ebb and flow, but as time went on the hosts started to get more of a grip on proceedings.

That was until referee Howard Webb intervened on 74 minutes. The man in the middle gave what looked a very harsh penalty decision against Nyron Nosworthy as Jeremie Aliadiere went down in the area.

Downing stepped up to the spot and had the winger converted the spoils could well have been Riverside bound.

Instead he blazed his kick over the bar and Middlesbrough literally paid the penalty.

Seven minutes later the Black Cats were in front. George McCartney fed the ball into Andy Reid and he flicked the ball to Chopra. The striker played a one-two with Richardson before firing past Ross Turnbull to put the home side 1-0 up.

After that Middlesbrough had to do all the chasing and went on the attack, however Sunderland defended resolutely.

With the game now wide open, gaps began to appear and Chopra stepped up to add the killer touch.

With the game in time added-on Daryl Murphy shot fell to Steed Malbranque and as appeals for offside were waived away, the Frenchman unselfishly slid the ball into the path of Chopra.

He was more than happy to accept the gift and netted his and Sunderland's second to seal a very happy return to action.
Barclays Premier League, Saturday, 20th September 2008 @ 12:45; Stadium of Light
Click for Sunderland squad list
Chopra 81, 90
Click for Middlesbrough squad list
 Starting Line-ups
1 Gordon 6
26 Ferdinand 6
3 McCartney 6
5 Nosworthy 7
21 Chimbonda 6
8 Malbranque 8
10 Richardson 6
6 Whitehead 6
4 Tainio (Chopra 45)5
9 Cisse (Murphy 69)5
11 Diouf (Reid 68)6
32 Fulop
2 Bardsley
15 Collins
18 Leadbitter
20 Reid (Diouf 68)6
14 Murphy (Cisse 69)6
16 Chopra (Tainio 45)8
17Goal Attempts15
11On Target11
6Off Target4
0Hit Woodwork0
 Starting Line-ups
21 Turnbull 8
6 Pogatetz 6
3 Taylor 6
31 Wheater 6
14 Huth 6
8 Digard (Shawky 68)6
4 O'Neil 6
28 Johnson, A (Hoyte 68)5
19 Downing 7
12 Afonso Alves 6
10 Aliadiere 6
22 Jones
2 Hoyte (Johnson, A 68)6
5 Riggott
41 Walker
20 Arca
15 Shawky (Digard 68)5
H Webb, S Yorkshire
Sunderland Cards
Richardson71unsporting behaviour
Chopra83unsporting behaviour