Friday 15 December 2017

Mata: Spurs win just the boost we needed

Manchester United's Juan Mata
Manchester United's Juan Mata

Juan Mata believes Sunday's win over Tottenham will inject confidence into the Manchester United squad as they embark on a tough run-in which they hope will end with Champions League qualification.

United moved to within two points of second-placed Manchester City at the weekend thanks to a 3-0 hammering of Spurs at Old Trafford.

After eight months of trying, everything seemed to click into place for Louis van Gaal's men.

They easily established a three-goal cushion within 35 minutes thanks to strikes from Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney, who put aside the storm created by his 'knockout' kitchen sparring video to hammer in the third and followed it up with a cheeky shadow-boxing celebration.

United's run-in is far from straightforward. Van Gaal's men face Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea in the next four weeks and they also host Arsenal on the penultimate weekend of the season.

But Mata thinks a top-four finish will be far more likely if United keep on repeating the kind of display that blew Tottenham away.

"It was a very important victory to finish in the top four since Tottenham are also in the same race," the United midfielder wrote on his blog.

"It was arguably our best first half of the season.

"The team played with a fast, intense style, also pressing on Spurs' side of the pitch. I was very happy for the fans after the disappointment of the FA Cup defeat to Arsenal."

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