Larsson among the best in the Premier League, says Sunderland boss Di Canio

The new Black Cats manager pays special tribute to the Sweden international despite his overhit backpass nearly throwing away a vital victory against Everton on Saturday
Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio feels that Sebastian Larsson is among the best players in the Premier League.

The Sweden international put hearts in mouths when his overhit backpass prompted a chance for Everton to get back into the match late on in Saturday's match, though the resulting free kick came to nothing and the Black Cats held on for a vital 1-0 win.

"At the end, to be honest, we suffered a bit but they didn't have any clear chances - apart from the backpass by Sebastian; that was the only one," Di Canio told reporters.

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"That can happen but I did much worse when I used to play, so it's not an issue because Seb delivered another fantastic effort in the middle of the field, quality.

"He's one of the best players, not only here but in the Premier League."

The Italian also paid tribute to forward Stephane Sessegnon, whose second goal in as many games provided three points against David Moyes's men.

"The little one is big. He's a big player," Di Canio enthused of the Benin international. "We all know he is capable of scoring a goal like that.

"I want to point attention to the job they did once again up front [against Everton]. Both Stephane and Danny [Graham] - they left all their energy on the ground and then obviously the goal made all the difference. It was a fantastic goal."