Manchester United’s Juan Mata frustrated after ‘tactical’ derby

by Ben Topliss

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has revealed his disappointment in not earning more than a point in last weekend’s derby.

Man United and Manchester City cancelled each other out at Old Trafford, although the home side had the better of the chances in the 0-0 draw.

Mata himself struggled to make an impact in the clash and was eventually replaced by Jesse Lingard.

The Spaniard insisted United were disappointed with a point in what was a “tactical” affair.

Speaking about the game, Mata wrote in his weekly blog: “Obviously, all of us were expecting something more from this game, both in football and in the score. Honestly, because we pushed more in the second half I think we were closer to the victory than City, but at the end it was one point for each team and both remain up there in the table.

“There was a lot of intensity on the pitch, but it wasn’t easy to find spaces. It was a very tactical game with not many plays inside the box.

“As always, thanks to the support of our crowd we tried until the end with passion, but we couldn’t make a goal. So as the saying goes, if you can’t win, at least don’t lose. We hope you can celebrate a victory in the return game, you deserve it.

“In my opinion the team competed at a good level. Everybody knows that they have very good players but we barely conceded chances to them. It was a shame not being able to win, but we must be positive and keep going, we are still in the main positions in the table.”

Although the derby provided little in the way of excitement, it was an interesting game from a tactical point of view. It was clear neither side wanted to lose the match and it resulted in a game of few chances. Attention will now turn to the Capital One Cup clash against Middlesbrough this week.

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