Chelsea’s Juan Mata: Gareth Bale can decide games on his own
Juan Mata warns his Chelsea team-mates that Gareth Bale has the ability to "decide games on his own" ahead of Spurs clash
Juan Mata has warned his Chelsea team-mates that Gareth Bale has the ability to “decide games on his own” ahead of Tottenham’s trip to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
The PFA player of the year struck a dramatic late winner against Southampton on Saturday to keep Spurs in the hunt for Champions League qualification.
That goal was the 23-year-old’s 20th in the Premier League this season and Mata needs no reminding of the Welshman’s threat ahead of the top-four showdown.
“Right now Gareth Bale is one of the best footballers in the world. Not just in England, not just in Europe, in the world,” Mata told Chelsea’s website.
“He is able to decide a game on his own, as he did against Southampton. He has the pace, he has the strength and he is young.”
Chelsea head into Wednesday’s game knowing that a victory will all but secure their place in next season’s Champions League.
Spurs, however, can go fourth and level on points with the Blues should they seal a win in west London.
And Mata said: “There are no excuses, 90 minutes will be like a final for them and us, we are fighting for the same achievement and if we win we will be very proud.
“Tottenham are a team who keep on winning and putting pressure on us, like Arsenal, but we are playing at home and if we win we will almost certainly be in the Champions League.”