Fabio Borini claims he could have had his leg broken by the Andre Wisdom challenge which led to Sunderland's penalty in their 3-0 win over Norwich City on Saturday.
The Italian opened the scoring from the spot in the first half at Carrow Road after a late challenge from the Norwich full-back, and second-half goals from Jermain Defoe and Duncan Watmore sealed a crucial three points in Sunderland's Premier League survival bid.
Fans and players of the home side were angry with referee Andre Marriner's decision to award Borini a spot-kick, but the forward insists the challenge was a dangerous one.
"No question - he almost broke my leg," he told BT Sport. "It was definitely a pen, and I took it as I know how.
"But it's not just about my goal or the rest. We showed we can beat any team if we play football as we know how. We know we've put pressure on the others but we need to focus on ourselves."
Sunderland are now just one point behind 17th-placed Norwich, having played a game less, meaning avoiding the drop remains firmly in their own hands.
Club captain Lee Cattermole says the players have total belief that they can stay up under manager Sam Allardyce, adding: "The message was not to get beat today. We've played well since the turn of the year, but we haven't found the way to win. We've drawn a lot of games.
"We believe in ourselves. Today we showed character, commitment and desire and it gives us a good chance."