Larsson happy to make amends

BY foxsports • December 12, 2011

Seven days earlier, the Sweden international's missed penalty sparked a fightback which saw Wolves come from 1-0 down to beat the Black Cats 2-1, with the newly-appointed O'Neill watching from the stands at Molineux. But the 26-year-old made amends at the earliest possible opportunity on Sunday when he curled home the injury-time free-kick which completed a similar recovery for Sunderland, with fellow strugglers Blackburn this time on the receiving end. Larsson said: "I felt I needed to do something and I am happy I got a goal, especially after last weekend. "It's been a tough week, missing that penalty and turning a game around which we should have won. "Of course when you miss a penalty you feel quite responsible." With 84 minutes gone, the only smiles at the Stadium of Light were on the faces of the pocket of Blackburn fans behind Keiren Westwood's goal. After a bright start in which full-back Phil Bardsley saw two early shots blocked, it was the visitors who took the lead in depressingly familiar style for the red and white faithful. Christopher Samba was inexplicably allowed to bring down Morten Gamst Pedersen's free-kick and when the defender drilled a deflected shot across goal, Westwood could only parry the ball to midfielder Simon Vukcevic, who calmly headed it into the empty net. Sunderland should have equalised within two minutes when the lively Stephane Sessegnon set up Kieran Richardson just six yards out. However, the midfielder took a heavy touch before seeing his shot saved at point-blank range by Paul Robinson. It might have got worse for O'Neill's men had referee Peter Walton, much to Rovers boss Steve Kean's astonishment, not blown for a foul by Samba on Westwood as he came for, but comprehensively missed, another Pedersen free-kick and Scott Dann headed home at the far post. Rovers, who had lost Gael Givet before the break after the full-back complained of heart palpitations, also saw replacement Martin Olsson, Michel Salgado and Jason Lowe - who left the field on a stretcher with concussion - follow him to the dressing room. But their capitulation was as spectacular as it was unexpected as David Vaughan smashed home a stunning 84th-minute drive to set the stage for Larsson to curl a last-gasp free-kick past Robinson and in off the post two minutes into stoppage time. Larsson added: "In the second half I was a bit disappointed with my own performance. I got into some decent crossing positions and I couldn't get any good crosses in. "I felt I needed to do something and I am happy I got a goal, especially after last weekend. "In the second half, I don't think I have ever been involved in a game where we have had that much possession. "But unless you score goals you are not going to win games, and David Vaughan scored with an absolute wonder-strike and I managed to get one right at the death." Kean was unhappy with both the disallowed goal and the handball decision against Mauro Formica which resulted in Larsson's winning free-kick. He said: "Formica has made a jump and we feel as if it's hit him underneath the arm as opposed to him swinging his arms at the ball. "That goes against us and obviously Seb Larsson whips in a fantastic free-kick. "Sometimes you don't get those decisions. We felt certainly that the ball hit the underside of his arm. I don't think it was an intentional handball. "Then on top of that, we feel as though [for] the second goal, Morten Pedersen delivers a great flat free-kick to Chris Samba, who gets a straight flick on it. "I can't see how that can be a foul. I can understand how the size of Chris Samba might magnify the referee's attention, but Chris has looked straight at the ball and it's a straight flick. "I know Keiren very well and I think he decided to come down the line of the ball and actually banged into Chris, so that was a tough one."