Maja the matchwinner for Sunderland U23s – as Seb Larsson comes through first game back after injury

Josh Maja hit Sunderland Under-23s' winner against Blackburn tonight
Josh Maja hit Sunderland Under-23s' winner against Blackburn tonight
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Seb Larsson managed 45 minutes on his comeback as Sunderland Under-23s secured a 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League Cup tonight.

The Swedish international midfielder has been out since the start of the season because of medial ligament damage, but he played the first half for Andy Welsh’s Under-23s at Eppleton CW.

He is now likely to feature in Wednesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy group tie against Notts County at the Stadium of Light.

Josh Maja bagged the only goal midway through the first half, firing home a Luke Molyneux cross which Blackburn failed to cut out.

Prior to the opener, Ethan Robson hit the bottom of the post with an excellent free-kick, while Elliot Embleton went close with a set piece late on.

Home keeper James Talbot made two fine saves to preserve his clean sheet.

Victory takes Sunderland top of Group B with four points from two games, one ahead of Blackburn. Cardiff, on one point from their only match so far against Sunderland, visit pointless Burnley on Tuesday.

The top two teams from each group go through to the knockout stage.

Sunderland U23s: Talbot, Casey (J Robson), Brady, Ledger, T Robson, E Robson, Larsson (Wright), Molyneux, Embleton, Greenwood (Asoro), Maja

Blackburn U23s: Fisher, Nyambe (Rittenburg), Platt, Wharton, Doyle, Mahoney, Hardcastle, Tomlinson, Travis, Rankin-Costello, Mansell.