Middlesbrough boss Karanka was pleased with another valuable away point a fortnight after seeing his troops snatch a 1-1 draw at Manchester City.
He said: “Arsenal (who Boro drew 0-0 with in their previous away game) and Man City have amazing squads, so for us to compete against them at their stadiums is good for us.
“This was much more difficult because against Arsenal we didn’t concede a goal and we created a few chances.
“Today we went onto the pitch and showed them too much respect. In the first half we just tried to defend and when you are against big teams and you just think you are going to defend, you concede a goal. For that reason at half-time I told them we had to try to play.”
Karanka admitted De Roon’s goal was a sweet moment.
He said: “I felt amazing because I had 11 players fighting 90 minutes on the pitch and I know how important it is to them to take this point or the one we took at Arsenal.
“This is the way to keep going, playing against these teams and showing we can compete.”