Juan Mata has shed light on an optimistic dressing room atmosphere following Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Leicester City on Sunday.
Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic ensured that Jose Mourinho’s men went into the break two goals ahead against Claudio Ranieri’s side, before Mata sealed the result with a smart finish in the 49th minute.
The result takes Man United to within one point of Liverpool, two behind fourth-placed Arsenal and five behind second-placed Tottenham Hotspur ahead of their game against Watford next Saturday.
And Mata, writing in his weekly blog, noted that the squad was in a buoyant mood following what was an emphatic result against the champions.
“The win in Leicester allows us to look into the future with optimism,” he said.
“The 0-3 this Sunday confirms many positive things that the team has been doing, and it also improves our efficiency inside the opponent’s box.
“Besides, we scored the three goals in critical moments of the game, and moved close to the victory soon after the break. Obviously, after the draw against Hull last Wednesday we were looking forward to adding the three points. That was a frustrating game, it left us with a bad taste and hungry to play again as soon as possible.
“Luckily, we were able to use that energy in a positive way to beat the defending champions. It was a very complete game from the whole team. This weekend we have taken the opportunity to reduce the gap with some of our main rivals, and we will try to maintain the same mentality to keep moving up the table.
“This week is going to be a bit more quiet than usual, since we only have one game. We were used to a very busy schedule, so having the entire week to prepare a game is going to be different.
“In this case we will be facing Watford; they are in good moment, but we play in Old Trafford and we are aware of the importance of getting the three points again. The Premier League is a tough competition and you need to be consistent.”
United have been consigned to sixth spot in the Premier League for what seems like eternity – an endless twilight zone where everything happens but nothing actually changes. Win nine games in a row? Still sixth. Draw three games in a row? Yep, you guessed it, still sixth.
That said, Mourinho’s men find themselves in a promising position. They don’t have to worry about what comes from behind; all they need to do is sit patiently, wait, and pounce when the right moment comes.