Larsson gets O’Neill off to perfect start

SUNDERLAND (2) vs BLACKBURN (1)

NEW SUNDERLAND manager Martin O’Neill celebrated a ‘surreal’ victory after late goals from David Vaughan and Sebastian Larsson helped the Wearsiders come from behind to beat Blackburn and move out of the relegation zone.

Sunderland trailed to Simon Vukcevic’s first-half header until the 84th minute when Vaughan’s piledriver found a way through the crowd and past Paul Robinson.

And O’Neill, back in a top-flight dugout after a 16-month absence, got the win he craved when Larsson’s brilliant injury-time free-kick beat Robinson at his near post.

O’Neill said: “It was surreal, really surreal. Just to get three points on the board is immense. I would have given a lot for that, just to have won the game, but mainly – forget about myself – just for the players.

“It’s only a win, it only gives us a win. We have a million miles to go, but in terms of restoration of confidence, it was great. If the fans feel half as good as I do at the minute, they will be pretty pleased.”