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Simpson: Sunderland equaliser 'lucky'

Newcastle defender Danny Simpson has branded Sunderland's late equaliser as "lucky" after the Wear-Tyne derby 1-1 draw on Sunday.

The Black Cats were able to secure a point thanks to a late Demba Ba own goal, which cancelled out Yohan Cabaye's opener for the Magpies.

And Simpson, 25, who previously played for Sunderland on loan, believes his old side were fortunate to level proceedings.

"It gets to the point in a game when you do not think you are going to concede," he said. "You feel quite comfortable. Everybody seems to be doing their jobs and playing together.

"For them it had to be something freaky like that. It was a fluky, lucky goal."

Meanwhile, Simpson's team-mate Jonas Gutierrez has refused to condemn referee Martin Atkinson for his decision to send off Cheick Tiote in the first half.

The dismissal forced Newcastle to play over an hour with ten men but Gutierrez, 29, chose to defend Atkinson, adding that if he had made a mistake it was certainly not intentional.

"I did not see the tackle, but I never want to speak about the referee's decision," he said. "If he thinks it was a bad tackle and a straight red it is, because it was.

"If the referee made a mistake, it is not because he wanted to do it, it is because it was a mistake.

"If he thinks it was a red card, it is done, and we cannot do anything about it."

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