Man Utd played too many long balls, admits Juan Mata

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata reflects on a frustrating goalless draw with Burnley on Saturday

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff

Juan Mata has admitted that Manchester United tried to play “too many long balls” during a goalless draw with Burnley on Saturday.

Louis van Gaal is still waiting to secure his first Premier League victory as Red Devils manager after two draws and a defeat in their opening three top-flight games.

I believe, when we try to play football in the last third, we can create but we played too many long balls

Juan Mata

United were forced to resort to a direct approach against newly-promoted Burnley despite the presence of British record £59.7m signing Angel di Maria in their side.

And January transfer window signing Mata was left frustrated by the Red Devils’s performance which leaves Van Gaal’s men four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City.

“Maybe in the build-up [there were confidence issues] as we were trying to build up from the back but sometimes we didn’t do it well,” Mata told MUTV.

“We played most of the time in their half which is good but, if you don’t score from these chances, then it’s not good enough.

“I believe, when we try to play football in the last third, we can create but we played too many long balls in the first half which is maybe why we didn’t play as well.”

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