Juan Mata has expressed his frustration following Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Stoke City last weekend, noting that the game left him with a bitter taste in his mouth.
The Spaniard endured a tumultuous first half at the Britannia, scoring an own goal in the 19th minute before missing an open goal moments later.
Jose Mourinho’s side did finally grab an equaliser through a sensational Wayne Rooney free-kick, but the overriding feeling at full time was that United, once again, had lost two valuable points against a side they should have dismissed.
Mata, writing in his weekly blog, was notably dejected following what was a truly galling afternoon against the Potters.
“The game left me with a bitter taste,” Mata wrote. “Firstly, we didn’t win. We created chances to get the three points and it makes us mad to see that the ball just doesn’t go in.”
“It’s especially frustrating when you are so unlucky as to score an own goal, when you’re trying precisely to avoid that.
“Personally, I don’t remember when was the last time that I scored an own goal, in fact I believe this is the first one.
“I know it goes with the territory. You’re trying to stop the cross, the ball gets deflected on your leg, then again on the goalkeeper and it’s a goal.
“It happens every week, this is part of the game, but when it happens to you it hurts.”
On a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon, with the Britannia acting as an ideal gloomy backdrop, United poured forward in search of a goal. Chance after chance was spurned, with Stoke supporters only really making noise whenever a shot from the visitors harmlessly sailed away from goal.
This was an illustration of United at their most frustrating: blessed with attacking enterprise, comfortably dominating their opponent, and yet somehow unable to find the net – a malaise that has reared its ugly head on too many occasions this season, and without doubt something Mourinho will be desperate to eradicate.