Juan Mata had three big chances to equalise for Manchester United against Southampton yesterday but failed to take any of them.
The Spaniard, who is usually so accurate in front of goal, didn’t hit the target with any of his chances and was clearly frustrated with himself, much like fans inside Old Trafford were.
In this week’s blog entry, Mata discussed how he felt United didn’t deserve to lose and that, despite Southampton’s impressive defensive performance, the slow nature of a tactical game contributed to the poor football on display:
“Believe me, it’s not easy for me to write here today, right after this Sunday’s defeat, but I want to remain loyal to this weekly meeting with you. A defeat is part of football and it’s very important that you to take it, understand it and use it to improve.
“To be honest, I don’t think we deserved to lose against Southampton. It was not the best game to watch. They were well positioned and defended very well, so creating chances was difficult. And yet we were in control of the game. The first half was not very good; the game was quite slow, too tactical. But we kept the ball most of the time, trying to find spaces towards the goal.
“They scored after the break in one of the few chances they had, after a ball that rebounded on the post, and then we tried everything to tie the game. I think we deserved that goal.”
Wayne Rooney also believed United were unlucky to lose against Southampton but on the whole, United fans are in agreement that Southampton were deserved winners. Although their defensive performance was flattered by United’s blunt attack, credit has to go to Ronald Koeman’s side.
Mata’s unusually poor finishing characterised United’s performance on the whole and the Spaniard is now trying to look forward immediately to the QPR game: “In the last 20 minutes we had chances. I had three myself, but yesterday it seemed the ball just didn’t want to go in.
“It would’ve been very important to make some of them because I believe we could have even won. I tried every possible way until the end, but we just couldn’t make it. Next time it will be a different story, I’m sure.
“Anyway, what matters now is to win our next game, regardless of who scores. We visit QPR and it’s going to be a tough one. They are in need of points and we know we must go back to a good streak of wins.”