SEB Larsson felt fatigue was just as much a factor in Sunderland’s failure to hold on to a two-goal lead on Saturday as Manchester City’s excellence, writes GRAEME ANDERSON.
The Premier League title hopefuls scored two eye-catching strikes in the dying minutes to pull back a 3-1 deficit for a point.
But Larsson said: “By that stage we were tired.
“Maybe we ended up playing too deep, but we were tired.”
Sunderland had had an emotionally draining match against Everton five days earlier while City’s larger squad had had the benefit of a week’s break.
Larsson said that Sunderland kept trying to go forward in the dying stages because they felt they could still get at City.
The two-goal Swede said: “At 3-1 up, we were still feeling confident and wanted to take the game to them.
“We did that, too, and if Nicklas Bendtner had been a little luckier with his shot in the last 10 minutes then it would have been 4-1 and there would have been no way back for them.
“We had spells when we looked really dangerous, especially when we hit them on the break like that.
“On another day, we could easily have had another couple of goals.
“But it did become increasingly hard us for us to get back in the last few minutes and maybe our tiredness showed.
“When you look at the players they’ve got, they’re quality.
“On top of that, they stay quite high up the pitch, so they’re instantly ready to attack when they get the ball.
“It always gave them a chance of getting back into it, although, from our point of view, we couldn’t see them getting back until things turned upside down in the last few minutes.”