Juan Mata praises David de Gea and Anthony Martial following FA Cup semi-final win

by Ben Topliss

Juan Mata has thanked Anthony Martial and David de Gea for their match-winning contributions in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Everton in the FA Cup semi-final last week.

De Gea saved a penalty from Everton’s Romelu Lukaku at Wembley before Martial scored a last-minute winner to book Man United’s place in the final on May 21.

Mata was full of praise for De Gea and Martial and insisted United have done well to overcome adversity over the course of the campaign.

“Saturday at Wembley, we sealed our passport to the big FA Cup final on the 21st of May in a very special atmosphere –as always in that stadium,” Mata wrote in his blog.

“It was a very typical, box-to-box Cup game, absolutely thrilling until the final whistle. We have to give credit to David and Anthony, the former because he saved a decisive penalty, and the latter because his goal in stoppage time brought a burst of joy to all of us.

“And I think that the team deserves credit too, because we have gone through several adversities this season.

“We have won five rounds (including a replay against West Ham) and now we can enjoy such a special moment as the FA Cup final, one of the most beautiful games in a footballer’s career. Being at Wembley is always special.”

Mata was dropped to the substitute’s bench against Everton and Jesse Lingard instead impressed through his combination play with Martial and Marcus Rashford.

United’s good performance against Everton will certainly give Louis van Gaal food for thought over Mata’s place in the side as his lack of pace sometimes slows down attacks.

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