Juan Mata has hailed Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Manchester City as a derby that will go down in history.
Man City fans were gearing up for a pitch invasion at half time after their side raced into a 2-0 lead.
But Man United, following some choice words from Jose Mourinho, Michael Carrick and Ashley Young in the dressing room, came out fighting and, led by Paul Pogba, pulled off a comeback that will be forever remembered as the day United ruined City’s title party.
And Mata, who was an unused sub, noted in his weekly blog that it was a truly historic game.
“Today I’m writing to you at the end of a Sunday in which, to tell you the truth, the impact of the Manchester derby has not faded out yet,” he said.
“The people you meet are talking about the game (especially if they are United supporters, of course), and almost every conversation is about last Saturday’s comeback. A derby is a derby. It may sound as a cliché, but it’s a special game.
“So when you get an away win after being 2-0 down against your rival, who is waiting for the final whistle to celebrate the Premier League title, you can expect people to talk about that for days. It happens in Manchester and in every other city where the fans are so passionate about football.
“It’s fair to say that Manchester City will be the deserving winners of the Premier League; the amount of points they have won week after week just made things impossible for the rest of the teams.
“But this win takes us closer to the second spot, which is our goal right now, and gives us lots of energy for the last month of the competition. If we have a look at the calendar we can see that there are only five weeks remaining, and then the FA Cup final that we dream to play.
“But the most immediate game in the calendar is against West Brom, next Sunday at Old Trafford. I’m sure the atmosphere will be very positive, so we must take the opportunity to put on a good game and a win for our fans.
“West Brom are the bottom team and that indicates how important and decisive the game will be for them; they need points. Us, we must show why we are second on the table.”
Forget, just for a second, the meaning behind the result – what the result means for United going forward and how it bears on City’s meeting with Liverpool on Tuesday. Forget the likes of Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez, Vincent Kompany, Raheem Sterling and how they impacted on the game.
Because above anything, on a more broader scale, this was a true Premier League classic. A game that will, no doubt, adorn our television screens for years to come. It was football at its pulsating, unpredictable best – a reminder of not just why we love United but indeed the beautiful game as a whole.