Cape Town - Recalled to the starting lineup against Tottenham Hotspur, Juan Mata said he felt really good on the pitch and enjoyed being able to help out his side after a prolonged period of out of the starting linuep.
Mata started his first game for Manchester United since being substituted at half time against QPR on January 17. The Spaniard had played just 40 minutes in six matches since that fixture after appearing to fall out of favour with Louis van Gaal but the Dutch coach opted to start with the ex-Chelsea player in Angel Di Maria's absence against Spurs.
Mata, who left the field after 76 minutes, received a brilliant ovation from the Old Trafford crowd after starring for United, something that he made special mention of in his post-match thoughts.
Juan Mata summed up his post-match thoughts on his blog:
"It was a very important victory in order to finish in the top four, since Tottenham is also in the same race. It was arguably our best first half of the season. In those 45 minutes we got three goals and we could have scored some more. The team played with a fast, intense and vertical style, also pressing on Spurs’ half of the pitch. I was very happy for the fans after the disappointment in the FA Cup against Arsenal last Monday.
The best way to recover was by playing a good game and winning for the fans, and that’s what we gave to them -to you- against Tottenham, a very good team that we managed to neutralize.
From a personal point of view I have to say that I felt really good on the pitch and I enjoyed again from the beginning with my team-mates, trying to be helpful in all aspects of the game. I heard your applause and I want to thank you for that. Ever since my first day as a United player I felt the love from Old Trafford and I want you to know that it helps a lot when you play. Your applause when I was substituted and on my way to the dressing room is something I will never forget. Thank you so much to all of you…
Now we must focus on each of the remaining games, and they are not many, in order to achieve our goal which is to bring the Champions League back to Old Trafford. Some of our rivals are also fighting for the same but I hope this win against Tottenham will give us confidence to perform at our highest level."
Manchester United's next league fixture is a trip on Sunday to Anfield to face Liverpool.
This fixture has always been a highlight on the English Premiership calender and the match is already on Mata's mind as he ended off his blog post writing: "See you in seven days. I hope next Monday we feel as good as today after playing in Anfield, which is one of the most important games of the season for us."
Liverpool host Manchester United on Sunday at Anfield. The match kicks off at 15:30.