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Fair point

Posted on 17 October 2011  - 12:00

Rafa van der Vaart concluded that a draw was a fair result after Sunday’s encounter at Newcastle.

Rafa van der Vaart concluded that a draw was a fair result after Sunday’s encounter at Newcastle.

The striker made it three goals in his last three Premier League fixtures by winning the battle of the mind games against fellow Dutchman and Toon goalkeeper Tim Krul to fire us ahead from the penalty spot.

Demba Ba levelled after 48 minutes to spark a thrilling second half at St James’ Park.

Jermain Defoe lashed home from the edge of the box for 2-1 with 20 minutes left and we had chances on the break to put the game beyond doubt.

Roared on by 45,000 Geordies, the home side made us pay with five minutes remaining as Shola Ameobi drilled into the corner for 2-2.

Both teams had golden chances after that – JD was denied at close range by Krul and then in the third minute of added time, Fabricio Coloccini had two attempts from close range but failed to hit the target.

“We didn’t play at our best and Newcastle are strong, especially at home, so it was a fair result,” said Rafa.

“Jermain scored a great goal and at that moment I thought we were going to win the game. Newcastle scored a good equaliser, and that was a pity.

“It was a good opportunity to win and get above Newcastle, but in the end perhaps it was a fair result.

“The next league game is Blackburn and we’ll be looking to get the three points again.”

As for his penalty, Rafa added: “There is always pressure when you take a penalty and I’m glad it went in because the goalkeeper is a Dutchman and he knows me well. I was happy to see it go in.”