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'Great feeling' - Rafa

Rafael van der Vaart admits defeating Italian giants AC Milan in their own backyard on Tuesday was ‘a great feeling’.

Rafael van der Vaart admits defeating Italian giants AC Milan in their own backyard on Tuesday was ‘a great feeling’.

The Dutchman insists the performance could hardly have been better and believes it was evident from the off who would come out on top in the first leg of our Champions League, Round of 16 tie.

To cap it all off was what Rafa describes as an ‘amazing’ goal from Peter Crouch 10 minutes from time following an Aaron Lennon-led counter-attack.

He said: “It was great. If you can win an away game in the Champions League in Milan, it’s a great feeling.

“We did well. We kept the ball well, we played between the lines and everybody was working fantastic, so it was a great performance.

“I was on the pitch and felt we would win the game from the first minute. It’s easy to say now after the game, but it’s true!

“The goal was amazing, Aaron did great and I’m happy for Peter that he scored the goal because he deserved it.”

Rafa feels belief was the key on the night and knows we must take that mentality into the second leg of the tie on March 9.

He added: “We have a lot of good players, but belief is a big word and if you believe in something, you can reach something. When we believe against Milan, we can win.

“This Champions League campaign is getting better and better but it’s only half-time. There’s a still a big game to play, but if we play like Tuesday then we’ll win again.”