English Premiership

Mata proud despite Bridge defeat

2015-04-20 10:07
Juan Mata (AFP)

Cape Town - Juan Mata left Stamford Bridge with his Manchester United teammates a proud man after what he described as a "special weekend".

Mata was sold to Manchester United after Jose Mourinho deemed the talented Spaniard surplus to requirements in London.

While Mata's recent form has seen any questions of him departing Old Trafford in the summer answered in the negative, the ex-Chelsea praised his former club's fans for his reception on his return to the Bridge this season.

Mata wrote in his last blog post, titled: "I feel proud":

"Today, as the title above says, I feel proud. I’m going to tell you why, but as you can imagine this has been a special weekend for me.

"When we were leaving Stamford Bridge, to catch the train and go back to Manchester, I had mixed feelings. I was angry about the defeat, I was thrilled after seeing some old friends, but especially I was proud. Mainly for two reasons that I’m going to explain now… I felt proud of the game the team had played, keeping the ball possession, controlling the game and creating chances to score, and all this at Stamford Bridge against the leader…

"As our manager said after the game, we were loyal to our football idea, and despite the score didn’t show that, if we keep playing like this there will be many more wins than defeats, I’m pretty sure of that. Besides, the team showed personality by playing that way against such a tough opponent, who gave no space in their half of the pitch and defended with so many players. Obviously, we also made some mistakes we have to learn from in the future. But overall that was my feeling about the game we had played: pride.

"The other reason, as you can imagine, is about the reception I was given from the Chelsea fans.

"It was really moving to feel the people’s respect and affection, and I will always be grateful for that… To them and also to the players. I thank them for such affection and I congratulate them for the title they are about to win, because it’s almost done… It was nice to meet them and chat with them after the game, and also the club’s staff, doctors, physios, etc., and feel their respect and friendship. Thanks to all and congratulations."

Turning to Manchester United's last five fixtures, Mata is aware of United's struggles at Goodison Park as the Red Devils face Everton on Sunday.

"We know we have five finals ahead and we will try to win each of them to get to our goal. The first one is away against Everton, not an easy stadium. The last time we played against them we struggled a lot to win, but we will try to get the three points again." said Mata.


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