* Middlesbrough edge north east derby 1-0
* Marten de Roon scored the decisive goal
* Boro hung on for first victory this year
* They are six points adrift of safety
* Sunderland a further six points back
* Boro home to Man City next, Sunderland host Bournemouth
April 26 (Reuters) - Middlesbrough gave themselves a lifeline and virtually condemned north-east rivals Sunderland to relegation with Marten de Roon's early goal earning a 1-0 win.
The Riverside Stadium basement battle was a torrid affair and De Roon settled it after eight minutes when he stabbed a shot through the legs of Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford.
Second-bottom Boro hung on for their first league victory of 2017 to move to within six points of 17th placed Hull City.
Sunderland are 12 points adrift of Hull with only five games remaining and their cause looking hopeless. (Reporting by Martyn Herman,; Editing by Neville Dalton)