It’s embarrassing, admits Sunderland star Larsson, after ‘shocker of a performance’

Sebastian Larsson fights for the ball against Aston Villa
Sebastian Larsson fights for the ball against Aston Villa
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SEB LARSSON says Sunderland’s players should hang their heads in shame at the manner of their first-half capitulation against Aston Villa.

Fellow strugglers Villa had not scored on the road in the Premier League since December 2 prior to Saturday’s visit to the Stadium of Light, yet, in less than half-an-hour, they doubled their entire tally of four away goals for the season.

The goals we conceded in that first half were so avoidable, every single one

Seb Larsson

Once Christian Benteke opened the scoring, Sunderland folded with frightening ease en route to a defeat which has left the Black Cats just a point and a place above the relegation zone.

Midfielder Larsson made no attempt to justify the Wearsiders’ performance or the abysmal defending which saw Villa run riot and cause thousands of supporters to head for the exits before the half-time whistle.

Larsson told the Echo: “It’s a shocker of a performance in the first half after a good start.

“We felt good, we felt we were at it – trying to press, trying to take charge of the game, which I thought we did early on.

“They scored a goal that is so, so easy for them and we didn’t stand up after that.

“All of us 11 players out there have to take the blame.

“The goals we conceded in that first half were so avoidable, every single one.

“It’s just a ridiculous amount of mistakes from all of us out there.

“Look at all four goals and none of them should be going in.

“That’s the very, very frustrating thing.

“It’s just embarrassing. For one bad goal to go in and for us to collapse the way we did, is absolutely shocking.”

It was the fourth time in five games that Sunderland had had the chance to get the better of one of their relegation fight peers and create some daylight with danger.

But yet again, Sunderland blew the opportunity of a “winnable” encounter and now find themselves precariously perched above the bottom three, with Burnley closing the gap with their surprise 1-0 Turf Moor success against Manchester City.

“We’ve had the chances to pull away this season and we don’t take them. Same thing again on Saturday,” added Larsson, who missed the start of the second half while he received stitches to an ankle cut.

“Everyone watched that first half on Saturday, so something’s wrong obviously.

“It’s fine if a team comes here and beats us with fair play or whatever, but we’ve conceded four goals in that first half and there’s no chance any single one of them should have happened.

“That’s down to us 11 on the pitch.

“Who’s to blame? All 11 of us and us only.”