Newcomers Middlesbrough got a point in their return to the Premier League, as they drew Stoke City 1-1 at Riverside Stadium with new signing Alvaro Negredo scoring for Boro.
Negredo was brought in on loan from Valencia during the summer, and the Spaniard got a perfect start as he gave the home side the lead in the 11th minute with a close range header. Xherdan Shaqiri grabbed the equalizer for Stoke in the second half with a well taken free kick. Manager Aitor Karanka was pleased with what he saw from Negredo in his debut.
“It was a really important [goal], especially for Alvaro,” Karanka said.
“I said when we signed him that he needed to recover his confidence. The last year wasn’t good for him.
“When he is confident, as he was at Manchester City, he is a top player.
“He came here to show how good he is and to help us in this league.”
Karanka was very pleased to get a point in their return to the Premier League, after spending the past seven seasons in the Championship.
“I think the players have played an amazing game,” Karanka said.
“We can’t forget that three months ago we were playing in the Championship so for us it’s been a really good test.
“What I said about Alvaro’s quality – [Stoke] have Shaqiri, Arnautovic, Bojan – it wasn’t a coincidence they finished the last three seasons in ninth position.
“It was difficult for us, the pressure of the first game in the Premier League, so I am really pleased.”