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Old 02-09-2019, 10:14 AM   #711
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Default Re: Juan Manuel Mata García

'The feeling is frustration and two points dropped': Juan Mata demands killer instinct from Manchester United after Southampton draw

* Juan Mata insists Manchester United must become more clinical in front of goal
* United spurned the opportunity to put 10-man Southampton to the sword
* The Spaniard believes the Red Devils have deserved better results this season
* The 31-year-old has hailed the impact of 'hard-working' team-mate Daniel James


Juan Mata is frustrated that Manchester United keep falling short due to a lack of killer instinct.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men started the season with a thumping 4-0 win against Chelsea, but things have gone awry in front of goal since then.

United blew the chance to win at Wolves and that 1-1 draw was followed by a chastening 2-1 home loss to Crystal Palace last weekend.

Saturday's trip to Southampton was another winless match for the Reds, who saw Daniel James' brilliant opener cancelled out by Jannik Vestergaard.

Even Kevin Danso's second-half dismissal for the hosts could not inspire United, who have five points from their opening four matches following that 1-1 draw.

'Two points dropped,' attacking midfielder Mata said. 'We were expecting Southampton (to have) some chances and play some good football for some moments.


Juan Mata believes Manchester United must become more clinical in front of goal

'I think we have to come to these kind of games and win and come back to Manchester with three points or the feeling is frustration and two points dropped again.

'When you score the first goal and you have the ball and you seem that you are having the tempo of the game, you need to kill (it off) and score the second goal and then the game is more or less done.'

Those comments echoed Solskjaer's sentiments and Mata knows they need to up their game.

'We started the season really well against Chelsea at home, winning 4-0, great second half, I would say and after that, at Wolves we felt we dropped two points,' the Spaniard said.

'We lost against Crystal Palace at home which we shouldn't accept and it shouldn't happen again, and today another two points dropped.

'We need to find this consistency and try to win and add three points after three points and that's our main objective.

'I think we are deserving more in almost every game but deserving is not enough: you have to get it.'

United are yet to hit their straps but at least they know exciting talent James is able to handle top-flight football.

A low-key summer arrival from Swansea, the 21-year-old proved to be a thorn in Saints' side and scored a stunning strike that took his Premier League tally to three goals - as many as Alexis Sanchez could manage for United.

'(It was a) very good goal, a fantastic finish,' Mata told MUTV. 'He's a very hard-working player.

'He gave us a lot on the wing and even in the second half when everyone was a bit tired, he was still sprinting and giving very dangerous crosses.

'(I'm) very happy for him and hopefully he can do it many more times.

'Football is easier right, if you are that quick? He takes advantage of that.

'He goes one against one and it's very difficult for a defender to take the ball off him. We need to use him even more.'

Saints rode their luck at times but defended well on the whole, with Vestergaard impressing at the back and scoring an impressive leveller.

'We're very happy with a point,' the centre-back said. 'I think we deserved it already against Liverpool, when we didn't get it, but today we were rewarded for the hard work we put in.

'It was our game plan to go out there and shake them a little bit - make them uneasy - because when they get comfortable, they're obviously very good and have world-class players.'

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Old 05-09-2019, 12:42 AM   #712
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Default Re: Juan Manuel Mata García

MATA LOOKING FORWARD TO HISTORIC DERBY

As I told you last week, I decided to move this blog to Wednesdays to get away from talking immediately after the results.

In fact, I believe that in football today there is a belief (that I don’t share) which goes something like this: if you lose, it seems as though you’ve done everything badly; if you win, it covers up all of the mistakes that you have made.

In my opinion, you have to look at things by taking a step back from the games themselves, above all in order to improve.

I don’t want to let the chance go by to talk about the fact that this Saturday will be a historic day in Manchester.

It will be the first time that the women’s teams for City and United will meet in league competition.

The match will have Common Goal members on both sides: Casey Stoney, Jane Ross and Siobhan Chamberlain in red; Janine Beckie and Pauline Bremer in blue… without doubt the women’s game is showing us that we can be rivals playing at the highest level of the game on the pitch, but also united for the same Common Goal off it.

I hope you all have a good week.

Hugs,

Juan

Read Juan's blog post in full on juanmata8.com.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:19 AM   #713
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Default Re: Juan Manuel Mata García

'I could've quit, but to stay and win would be the best feeling': Juan Mata insists he has no regrets over Manchester United move and lifts the lid on relationship with Jose Mourinho

* Juan Mata says he is convinced Man United will return to their former glories
* Mata insists he doesn't regret joining club from Chelsea in 2014 despite woes
* The midfielder says he doesn't blame Jose Mourinho for hindering his career


In his new book, Suddenly a Footballer, Juan Mata references, at various points, Nelson Mandela, Aristotle, Augustine of Hippo, Steve Jobs, Rudyard Kipling, Viktor Frankl and Marcelo Bielsa.

Thirty years ago, English football would not have coped well with this. Graeme Le Saux was regarded as a leper and a deviant because he read The Guardian.

Times have changed and Premier League dressing rooms are more cosmopolitan places now. Mata does not feel isolated as Le Saux once did. He has plenty of contemporaries, he says, who share his interests and his love of literature.


Juan Mata spoke to Sportsmail at an Art Gallery to discuss his colourful life on and off the pitch. Mata's new book features cultural references not typically associated with footballers. Mata will donate 99% of profits from his book, Suddenly a Footballer, to Common Goal charity

He is the first footballer I have ever interviewed at an art gallery but that is not what makes him different. What makes him different runs deeper than that.

Two years ago, shocked by the poverty he had seen on a trip to Mumbai, the Manchester United midfielder established the Common Goal initiative by pledging one per cent of his salary to charity and urged other football figures to follow him.

A few, including Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, have done so. Last week, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp revealed he had added his name to the list.

But we knew that about Mata already. Off the pitch, Common Goal has become one of the driving forces in his life. He is donating 99 per cent of the proceeds of sales of his book to it.

But as he sits in the cafe of Manchester's Whitworth Art Gallery the day after United's loss to West Ham last Sunday, it becomes apparent that there is something about his attitude to playing for the club that makes him stand out, too.

Mata arrived at Old Trafford from Chelsea in January 2014, just as United's hegemony in English football was coming to an end. He had won the World Cup, the European Championship and the Champions League.

All by the age of 24. Beguiling fans with the sweetest left foot in the Premier League, he had been player of the season twice at Stamford Bridge.


Mata joined Man United from Chelsea in 2014 after a trophy-laden three years at Chelsea. Mata won the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup at Stamford Bridge. The Spaniard left Chelsea after Jose Mourinho decided he wasn't part of his plans

His vision and his speed of thought had made him one of the best players in English football and, even though his sublime skills did not fit in with Jose Mourinho's prosaic, muscular idea of what he wanted in a footballer during his second coming at Chelsea, Mata's £37.1million signing was trumpeted as a great personal triumph by United's executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward.

It was not long, though, until Mata became a victim of the dysfunctional mess United have become under Woodward and the Glazers.

How is this for confused thinking: United sign Mata and make him one of their most expensive assets after Mourinho makes it clear Mata is not his type of player. Two years later, United make Mourinho their boss.

But here is what is really different about Mata. Even when it became clear that United in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era had become a football dystopia, lurching from one managerial appointment to another, from one sacking to another, lacking any cogent plan, slipping further and further behind Manchester City and Liverpool, Mata did not run. Others did.

Mata did not look at the chaos around him at Old Trafford and think he would be well out of it. Mata did not treat the arrival of Mourinho in Manchester as an excuse to get the hell out of there.

Mata knew it was going to be a long road back for United but he still wanted in.


Jose Mourinho took charge at Old Trafford just 18 months after he sold Mata to United. Mata admits it would've been easy to leave United but stayed to win Mourinho's trust. Mata has acknowledged United's current struggles but remains convinced of future success

He still wants in now. He admits that the journey back from London after the West Ham defeat was quiet. He barely slept that Sunday night.

The thing that killed him was how disappointed the fans would be. That is why he still wants to stay. He signed a new two-year deal in June. He is desperate to help put it all right.

'Even though I could have taken the easy road and thought 'it is very difficult at this club in this moment and that's it, I prefer to go somewhere else and take an easier challenge,' if I had done that, I wouldn't have been able to forgive myself,' he said.

'So I know it's not the greatest moment of the club but I prefer much more to be suffering these difficult moments hoping that, in the future, we can do something really nice and win and that that victory will overcome all the frustration we might have had.

'Some people tell me I signed for United at the wrong time but being at this club is very special. Since I was a kid, I saw this club winning. When the opportunity to come to United arrived, I had no doubts. I wanted to feel what it was to be a Manchester United player from inside.

'It was the moment in which there was a big change in everything and we are still there in that process. It has taken a few years and I'm here those years. It is still a privilege to be here.


Mata says he wishes he'd joined United during their pomp but is privileged to be at club. Mata insists he doesn't blame Mourinho for interrupting the momentum of his career

'I wish it was in a time when we were winning Premier Leagues but I want to change what is happening. We are getting closer. There is no way this club is not going to come back to where it should be.

'Hopefully that will be with me because that is what I wish for more than anything else right now in my professional career. But if not, it will happen without me.

'There will be nothing that will make me happier than feeling that. I felt that deep happiness with the supporters by winning an important trophy. I wouldn't change that for anything.

'If I get it, it would be incredible. If I don't, I'll be happy with myself for having tried until I could. I tried my best. Sometimes you don't get what you hope for but at least I will have fulfilled that promise with myself of trying until I can to see this city celebrating in red.

'David de Gea told me about the day they celebrated winning the league in Deansgate and I want to see that.

'I would take that over anything. Maybe that's me being stubborn. I have people telling me it's difficult, other clubs are doing well, that I should change clubs and not try the impossible. But what counts is that I will have tried until the end.'

It is tempting for devotees of Mata to blame Mourinho for interrupting the momentum of the Spain midfielder's career. Not once but twice.

Mata has spent the second phase of his playing days trying to get somewhere close to recapturing the glories of the first phase but he insists he bears no animus towards his former boss, who is one of three managers he has outlasted at Old Trafford.

'I have no personal bitterness towards him at all,' says Mata. 'My football is not perfect for his idea of football. That's what happens. I was at Chelsea, player of the year for two years, everything was rosy and then he arrived with a different approach, which I respect because there is not only one approach in football.

'So there was a football reason. I take it like it is. I went to United and after some time, he came to United, too. I feel content and happy with myself because again the easiest decision would have been to leave, knowing his approach and my qualities. But I didn't leave and despite what many people said and wrote, I played more than people expected.

'I felt like an important player, I played the two finals we played and I felt proud of myself for being strong and taking the challenge and not leaving.

'I might play more or less because of the way he plans football but I am going to be here and I am going to show everyone, most of all myself, that I can overcome things in football. And I did. I had good seasons with him and I feel content with that.'

Mata, 31, is also fighting the trend towards physicality in the game and the idea that players are judged on their statistics rather than the nuances of their performance.

Analysts talk more and more about the importance of transition and particularly speed in transition and Mata is sometimes accused of slowing the game down. Mata is not slow but his real speed is in his brain.

He sees things before others see them. He reads the game better than others read it. He sees a run no one else sees. He can play a pass no one else can play. There is a danger that those are becoming old-fashioned virtues.


Mata says having a sound understanding of the game is more important than physical size

Late in Suddenly a Footballer, Mata quotes the American author William Bruce Cameron. 'Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted,' Cameron wrote, an idea that forms part of Mata's philosophy. When I ask him if he thinks his career has suffered because of the new reliance on stats, he nods.

'Probably yes,' he says. 'I still think the understanding of the game and thinking while playing is the core of football and is the most important thing to have as a player. The game has evolved physically a lot. When we see games in the Eighties and Nineties, the rhythm was a lot different to today.

'The importance of physical stats from managers, media and fans is probably not the biggest asset in my game. The game has evolved in a way where players like my type are seen with certain doubts whereas before we were seen as the ones that made everyone happy and tried to create.

'Now some managers view this type of player as a liability. They are creating but they cannot be as solid as others. People say I am not quick enough in transition but there is a different kind of speed. There is also the speed in your decision-making. If I can play a pass that makes that transition better, I will try to play on my strengths. That's why I managed to be a football player. You play with your decisions, not just your physique.'


Mata has sympathised with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and says the players haven't done their jobs

Mata is fighting as hard as anyone to try to bring the good times back to Old Trafford. He struggled to impose himself on the game at the London Stadium and missed a second-half chance when he reacted a fraction late at the back post to a ball across the face of the goal and poked it wide.

Later in the week, he and De Gea hosted a team-bonding meal at Mata's Tapeo & Wine restaurant in Manchester. United, Mata points out, are on the same points as Spurs and Chelsea. The season has not started particularly well but it could be worse.

The fact United were in eighth place going into a weekend which will end with Monday night's game against Arsenal means that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is already under pressure. Mauricio Pochettino and Massimiliano Allegri, among others, are being mentioned as potential successors. Woodward, once more, is looking like a rabbit in the headlights.

Mata says: 'It is never easy when you change manager because it shows as players you are not doing your job as you should. It is the easy thing to do. Change your manager and it can help change your mindset, but it is never a good sign. It is much better to have a manager for 25 years and win 13 Premier Leagues.

'Sometimes, you have to be patient. When I was young, it felt like everything was going in my direction. Everything happened quickly in the first part of my career. Football was great. You play, you win. You play, you enjoy. I didn't know football wasn't like that until I didn't win and play as much.

'In the last part of my career, which is about to come, I hope there are some nice surprises for me.

'I value everything I won before but I never felt difficulties. I didn't feel any worries, any problems, any setbacks. If you have frustration and then you come back to the happy days, it feels more meaningful.

'I want to feel the happiness of winning the biggest trophies at this club. If it happens, that feeling will overcome all the frustration. It would be the most enjoyable and meaningful success of my career.'

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7515833/Mata-insists-no-regrets-Man-United-lifts-lid-Jose-Mourinho-relationship.html
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:28 AM   #714
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Default Re: Juan Manuel Mata García



MATA BELIEVES SILVERWARE WILL COME SOON FOR UNITED

Juan Mata believes Manchester United will start winning silverware again sooner, rather than later.

The 31-year-old, speaking prior to our UEFA Europa League clash with AZ Alkmaar tomorrow, has won three major trophies at Old Trafford since signing from Chelsea in 2014 and is hungry to add to his collection.

“I think that when the club says we’re going to take time and the manager as well, we don’t believe it’s going to be too long,” said the Spaniard, at the pre-match press conference in the Hague.

“I think this club, since I’ve been born, has always been winning. [Ole] has won here a lot as a player and, for me, personally, I have been here for a few years already and won a few things, but obviously, my aim in my mind is only to win something important with United.

“I believe that during my time here as a player we can do it.

“Obviously, we know other teams are doing things well and playing very good football, but I think that winning a trophy with United is possible and that, now, in the final part of my career, is my biggest opportunity.”

The Reds’ last major honour came in May 2017, when we defeated Ajax to claim the UEFA Europa League for the first time.

With United trailing Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League table at this early stage of the season, Mata concedes that winning the title will be difficult, but he has his sights set on glory before the new contract he signed in the summer expires.

“Well, it is what it is. The rivals are playing good, they’re winning trophies,” the playmaker added.

“But, as I said when I renewed my contract here, to be a Manchester United player is something really special and if I can win a trophy here during my time playing it will be incredible and it would be worth the wait, for sure.”

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Old 12-01-2020, 07:00 AM   #715
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Default Re: Juan Manuel Mata García



RASHFORD AND CO MAKE IT EASY FOR MATA

Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata revelled in impact made by the Reds' strikeforce in the 4-0 crushing of Norwich City.

Marcus Rashford grabbed a double in the Premier League win, and his fellow hit-men Anthony Martial and substitute Mason Greenwood completed the scoring in the rout of the Premier League’s bottom club.

And it was Mata who provided assists for two of the goals that ensured United got back to winning ways.

The Spaniard was delighted with the movement that made his own influence smoother.

“It was very nice to play today,“ he admitted to MUTV. ”We found spaces, we found the pockets and we could play some balls into our strikers all over the pitch. I think that is a good sign.

“It is very nice for a player like me to play with these kind of players. They make runs and you can play the ball either into their feet or in behind and create a good ball into a goal. That is important to us as playmakers.”

Mata’s brilliant cross to find Rashford for the 27th minute opener set the tone for the Reds.

“It was one of the moves we did in training,“ said the 31-year-old. ”When I play on the right and come inside, I like to make those crosses for our strikers and it was a good finish from Marcus. We are happy with that. We felt we could do it and we did it.


“It was one of those days I enjoyed being on the pitch and we all did. I think the fans will be happy. That is important for us because, we have to be honest, we have given them some disappointments this season that they don’t deserve. But I think, today, they will be happy and that is important to me.”

Having lost at Arsenal in the last Premier League outing, drawn at Wolves in the Emirates FA Cup and suffered a derby defeat to Manchester City in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final at Old Trafford, it was vital the Reds got 2020 on track.

“It was a good performance and a performance that we needed,” said Mata.

“It is a performance we can look at and see how we can play and make sure we play like that on a more consistent basis.

“Norwich are a team that tries to play out from the back and they dare to play that way. They have personality. I like the way they try to play, obviously they are not getting results because this is the Premier League but if you don’t have a good day they can play, have the possession and they can create chances like the one they had in the first half that David (De Gea) made a great save from.

“What we tried to do was get the ball as soon as possible and control the game and to create chances,“ he added. ”We did that from the first minute. There were four or five minutes at the end of the first half when we lost our concentration a little bit but, overall, it was a very good half and one of the best of the season. It was a complete performance and we need to keep that going and relax in every game.

“But it is only one game, it is only three points but the feeling was very good. “What we have to try to do is bring that feeling for the next game against Wolves [in the FA Cup replay on Wednesday night] and in the Premier League against Liverpool at Anfield [next Sunday], which is a big one.

“We have to keep going. Days like today make you happy and that is what we have to do.”

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Old 17-01-2020, 08:40 AM   #716
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Default Re: Juan Manuel Mata García

Juan Mata's revival has reminded Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he gets Manchester United 'playing with rhythm'... everyone's favourite playmaker has taken on a fatherly role at Old Trafford and could be the key to spoiling Liverpool's party at the weekend

* Juan Mata scored the only goal of the game against Wolves on Wednesday night
* The midfielder has undergone a revival in that game and against Norwich City
* He provided two assists when they faced the Canaries and has shown his value
* Little things about Mata go a long way, like his influence in the final third


The final ball, the decision-making around the box, has undoubtedly plagued Manchester United's season. A failure to execute that little intricate five-yard pass, or an unawareness of a runner, has been their undoing on countless occasions.

It is therefore hardly a surprising statistic that the 152 shots taken from outside the area is more than any other team in the Premier League. Only five of those have resulted in goals.

United have at times looked like a team that simply does not want the football. Before a flurry of victories over Christmas, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side had won just eight per cent of league matches in which they boasted more possession.


Juan Mata has reminded Manchester United of his value over the last two games. He scored the winner against Wolves in the FA Cup and provided two assists against Norwich. Mata is useful to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in games when United have more of the ball

Solskjaer, of course, has preferred a high-intensity, countering style that relies upon the exuberance of youth and the raw pace of his lightning front line.

An obvious victim of this is Juan Mata, who has come out of the shadows over the past week.

The winner against Wolves on Wednesday night, a deft chip when rushing from the No 10 position, followed two assists during the 4-0 victory over Norwich City.

His first assist that day - loitering on the edge of the box, clipping a ball into the corridor of uncertainty for Marcus Rashford to attack - was exactly the sort of guile that United have lacked for much of the campaign.


The midfielder chips the ball over John Ruddy to give United the win at Old Trafford

That day finished with Norwich manager Daniel Farke joking that he wanted to take Mata on loan before ultimately conceding they had 'no chance'.

That he sought the Spaniard out after full-time shows the level of respect the veteran garners from those within the game. It is not particularly unusual for a member of the opposition to do that.

Mata, now in his seventh season at Old Trafford, offers Solskjaer something different and the pattern of performance over the past few days - albeit in matches a club of their stature should win - may dictate that the manager leans on him rather more, even with the expected capture of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon.

Ordinarily you would not expect the starts to continue at Liverpool on Sunday, given United will likely devise a plan to hit the champions-elect on the break in a bid to slow their title procession.

But there is also a significant argument that the attacking cunning Mata has recently supplied makes him undroppable for Anfield, a stadium at which he has happy memories in a red shirt. Solskjaer has a big call to make over the coming days.

'Sometimes the brain is quicker than the feet,' Solskjaer said of the 31-year-old. 'He's scoring and creating goals, he gets us playing with rhythm. He finds pockets, gets on the ball.'

Mata has been utilised in a more central role, offering him the sort of freedom to roam and locate those spaces in which he can pick locks.

The movement of Rashford and Anthony Martial ought to be a joy for someone who takes greater pleasure in assisting than scoring.

Previously he has operated from wide, especially under Jose Mourinho, with much of that down to Paul Pogba's inclusion in midfield.

Regardless, this has been a frustrating term for him until very recently. Solskjaer has only started him in six league matches yet Mata has not complained. Other players would pound on the manager's door demanding to find reasons for consistent omissions, but that is not in the playmaker's character.

'He makes me understand when I see him training, because he trains fantastically every day,' Solskjaer added.

'Of course he's not happy but sap the energy of everyone. He's a absolutely fantastic human being around the dressing room.'

Instead, Mata has taken on something of a fatherly role. He sits alongside Mason Greenwood in the dressing room, passing on wisdom to a teenager taking his first steps of what should become a lengthy career at the top. Greenwood is encouraged not to dwell on mistakes and offering positional pointers. The same goes for Daniel James, who sits close by.

Contributing to the team is far more than merely encouraging the youngsters, although it was noted that every member of the squad received a copy of his autobiography over Christmas, complete with a personalised motivational message. The little things go a long way, much like his influence in the final third.

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Old 22-02-2020, 01:38 AM   #717
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MATA CONFIDENT FOR THE SECOND LEG

Juan Mata believes Manchester United can overcome Club Brugge in the second leg of our Europa League Round of 32 tie at Old Trafford after picking up a 1-1 draw in Belgium.


Anthony Martial’s first-half equaliser means Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men go into next Thursday’s game with a crucial away goal and Mata is confident we can progress on home soil.

“We believe we can win at home and we can go through,” he told MUTV. “We respect Brugge, they are playing very well in their league and their manager is very good.

“They play from the back, they are difficult to break down so we will try and control the game and not concede many counterattacks because they have quick players up front which they showed today. Hopefully we can score our chances and go through.”

Club Brugge started Thursday’s first leg quickly and opened the scoring through Emmanuel Dennis after just 15 minutes. However, Mata believes after Martial’s equaliser United looked the more likely to win the game:

“I think in the second half we played better. We played more in their half and had chances to maybe score the second after they had started well,” he added. “We had a chance with Brandon [Williams] and we hit the post with Anthony [Martial].

“They scored a goal we shouldn’t concede and we scored a goal from their mistake. We wanted to win but 1-1 is not a very bad result.”

Mata’s team-mate Victor Lindelof was disappointed with the manner in which United conceded, but also believes the Reds are in a strong position going into the second leg.

“It’s football, it happens, but of course we shouldn’t concede a goal like that,” he insisted. “But we got an away goal which is important in European games.

“We showed at times today the quality that we have and when we play at home we are going to try and play a better game.”

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Old 24-02-2020, 09:39 AM   #718
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'Hopefully he can help us in this second part of the season and I'm sure he will because he's a quality player': Juan Mata hails Bruno Fernandes and backs fellow Man United new signing Odion Ighalo to 'score many goals'

* Juan Mata has said Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo have settled in at Man U
* Fernandes joined from Sporting Lisbon and Ighalo from Shanghai Shenhua
* Mata hailed Fernandes as a 'quality player' and believes Ighalo can score goals
* Manchester United face Ighalo's former club Watford on Sunday in the league


Juan Mata has said that Manchester United new boys Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo are settling in nicely at Old Trafford.

Fernandes and Ighalo were two United's three additions during the January transfer window, along with Southend goalkeeper Nathan Bishop.

Fernandes had been linked with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side in the summer and finally pushed through a move from Sporting Lisbon late in the window, but Ighalo's deadline day move from Shanghai Shenhua came as a big shock.

Mata has admitted both of them have adapted well to their new surroundings at United.

'We welcomed them both,' Mata said. 'Bruno is a very good player, we all know that, and a very nice guy also. We have been in contact a lot.

'He speaks Spanish mixed with Portuguese which is not very different, so he's a good guy and I think he's settling in very well.

'He's found his place in Manchester and also with the help of Fred, Andreas (Pereira) and Diogo (Dalot) he's enjoying it. They've helped him a lot.


Manchester United's Juan Mata has said the club's January signings are settling in well. The Spaniard hailed Bruno Fernandes as a 'quality player' and said they've had lots of contact

'Hopefully he can help us in this second part of the season and I'm sure he will because he's a quality player.'

Boyhood United fan Odion Ighalo could make his home debut for the Red Devils against his former club Watford on Sunday. Mata is confident that the 30-year-old can make a positive impact for the rest of the season.

'Odion has experience of playing in the Premier League and hopefully he will score many goals for us from now until the end of the season,' said the Spaniard.


Mata believes Ighalo can score goals for United during his half season loan at the club

'As the manager said, he's a good character as well and he's got a good personality which has fitted straight into the dressing room.

'The better he does, then the better for us - and I wish him all the best.'

The last time United met Watford, they suffered their most embarrassing defeat of the Premier League campaign. Mata is determined to make amends for their Vicarage Road blunder that saw a David De Gea gaffe taint an already sour afternoon.

'Yeah, that wasn't a very good day for us... neither the performance nor the result,' the 31-year-old midfielder Mata said.

'They have been doing well under their new manager. I always thought they had a very strong team physically and they are difficult to beat.

'So it will be tough but hopefully we can get a good result and from there build until the end of the season.'

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Old 13-03-2020, 10:38 PM   #719
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MATA LOVING BRUNO AND IGHALO LINK-UP

Juan Mata says everyone at Manchester United is “very happy” to have both Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo on board, after the pair made yet another impact on a victory for the Reds.

In Thursday's 5-0 win over LASK in Austria, Ighalo scored a stunning first-half goal - sublimely set up by Fernandes - before feeding Daniel James to double United's advantage early in the second period.

“It's great to have Bruno in the team, and also Odion who is scoring in almost every single game that he plays,” Mata told MUTV's Stewart Gardner.

“They're great guys, and we're very happy now with them in the team.”

Expanding on his Iberian interaction with Fernandes, our Spanish no.8 said of the Portuguese no.18: “I think we understand football in the same way.

“We like to play the same way, passing and moving and giving lines.

“We like playing with each other and looking for our forwards in behind like we did with Dan today and with Odion who scored a fantastic goal also.”

Mata himself scored United's third goal, and the architect was a player who has almost seemed like a new signing his season. Fred's remarkable renaissance in his second campaign at the club continues week by week in midfield and it was his incisive pass that was just begging to be buried by Mata.

“Yes, it was a fantastic ball from Fred,” acknowledged Juan.

“It was difficult to see my run because there were many players in front of him but he's got that beautiful left foot and that vision. It was a perfect ball and I could finish.

“After that we scored another two goals [through Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira], so I think in the last 15 minutes we killed the game and we are very happy about that.”

The comprehensive win dispelled any notion that United's recent vibrancy in attack might be nullified by a lack of atmosphere, given the game was played behind closed doors at the Linzer Stadion due to coronavirus concerns.

“I don't remember playing behind closed doors before so of course it was a different game,” admitted Mata.

“It feels strange. It's like training, when you play a game in training, there's no crowd and it felt a little bit the same. But of course your mind is in a competitive mood and you know that it is an official game so we did what we were asked to do which is to play in these circumstances. We need to act accordingly and trust in the experts and perform like we did today.

“I think we did really well when you look at the score and the performance. It was not easy in the beginning because LASK are a team that press a lot. We didn't have our best game in terms of passing and controlling, and it wasn't easy on that pitch with this ball, but at the end of the day we scored five goals, we are happy and ready to come back to Manchester.

“I would say it was a very professional performance so of course, winning 5-0, we can say that we had a very good first leg. But when we play at Old Trafford we will try to win the game again and play good and try to score and try to enjoy our football like we did today.”

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Old 21-05-2020, 08:38 AM   #720
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Default Re: Juan Manuel Mata García

Bagi Drogba, Chelsea Menang Liga Champions karena Juan Mata
Afif Farhan - detikSport



Munich - Musim 2011/2012, Chelsea memenangi Liga Champions untuk kali pertama. Didier Drogba adalah pahlawannya, tapi bagi dia justru sang pahlawan adalah Juan Mata.

Perjalanan Chelsea memenangi Liga Champions kala itu sangatlah penuh drama. Manajernya, Andre Villas-Boas dipecat, digantikan Roberto Di Matteo dan The Blues terseok-seok di liga.

Pun di Liga Champions, Chelsea harus jatuh-bangun. Sempat ditaklukan Napoli 3-1 di babak 16 besar, Chelsea akhirnya membalikkan keadaan 4-1 dan lolos ke babak berikutnya.

Selanjutnya, Chelsea bisa mengalahkan Barcelona di semifinal dan berhadapan dengan Bayern Munich di final.

Lewat Twitter, Didier Drogba cerita bagaimana dirinya merasakan kembali final Liga Champions. Tahun 2008 sebelumnya, The Blues pernah gagal di final setelah kalah adu penalti dari Manchester United.

"Saya meminta kepada Juan Mata yang saat itu adalah pemain muda berusia 23 tahun, 'maestro bantulah kami untuk menang, saya sudah delapan tahun di sini dan belum sekalipun memenangi Liga Champions'. Dia bilang, 'kamu gila ya, kamulah yang akan membuat kita menang nanti'," kata Drogba.

Laga final berlangsung sengit. 8 Menit menjelang peluit akhir berbunyi, Bayern Munich bisa unggul lewat Thomas Muller.

"Saya nangis saat itu, saya ingat beberapa sebelumnya negara saya Pantai Gading juga kalah di final Piala Afrika. Juan Mata lalu melihat saya, 'percaya Didi (panggilan Drogba-red), kamu harus percaya'," ujar Drogba.

"Percaya apa? Ini sebentar lagi pertandingan selesai," kata Drogba.

Namun di menit ke-88, Chelsea mendapat tendangan sudut. Dari situlah Didier Drogba mencetak gol lewat umpan manis Juan Mata.

"Lihat siapa yang mengambil tendangan sudut, Juan Mata! Setelah itu adalah sejarah. Itu merupakan pelajaran bagi saya untuk selalu percaya," ungkap Drogba.

Chelsea menyamakan kedudukan 1-1 dan pertandingan berakhir sampai adu penalti. Chelsea akhirnya menang dengan skor 4-3 dan menjadi juaranya.
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