Larsson: Sunderland can beat Man United again!

Sebastian Larsson in action for Sunderland during their 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion. Picture by FRANK REID
Sebastian Larsson in action for Sunderland during their 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion. Picture by FRANK REID

SEB LARSSON insists Sunderland can make it a hat-trick of Old Trafford triumphs this weekend to give their survival bid a shock boost.

Larsson’s winning goal against Manchester United last May ended a 46-year wait for an away league victory over the Red Devils, with a result that took Sunderland to the brink of completing their remarkable escape from the drop.

It was the second time in the space of three months that the travelling Sunderland fans at Old Trafford had been sent into delirium after the penalty shoot-out success in the League Cup semi-final second leg.

Sunderland are equally in need of a surprise win this weekend, with Gus Poyet’s side hovering just three points above the relegation zone.

But midfielder Larsson believes last season’s success stories should remove any sense of intimidation ahead of Saturday’s encounter.

The Swedish international said: “We managed to beat them there once and we kind of beat them the other time too!

“I would say the league win was more important – but, then, I didn’t play in the cup win!

“They were two big games. Getting into the cup final was massive for the fans and for us players, but the win in the league was in the middle of that crazy run we had that secured our Premier League status.

“We will use those memories and we know we have beaten them before.

“There’s no reason why we can’t do it again.

“But on the other side, unless you perform to your best then you are going to have a very tough afternoon.”

United’s defeat to Swansea City last weekend has prompted further question marks over the progress made under manager Louis van Gaal, albeit they currently remain in a Champions League spot.

But while the aura of the Sir Alex Ferguson era may have ebbed away, van Gaal’s men have still suffered just two Premier League defeats at Old Trafford this season.

“It will never be an easy place to go,” added Larsson.

“Obviously, teams have taken advantage of that little bit of uncertainty that has been there over the last 18 months, which was inevitable when someone like Sir Alex Ferguson left the club.

“But at the same time you have still seen them win games very comfortably there, so we will have to be at the top of our game.

“We managed to get a win there last year, which was very big for us, and we will use those memories when we go there on Saturday.”