Juan Mata: Man United must step game up against Bayern Munich
Juan Mata warns Manchester United that they must step their game up against Bayern Munich this week
Juan Mata has warned Manchester United that they will have to be at their best to have any chance of beating Bayern Munich and reaching the Champions League semi-finals.
The Red Devils host the holders and Bundesliga champions at Old Trafford on Tuesday night in the first leg of their last-eight tie as they look to forget a miserable domestic season with a positive run in Europe.
We are going to try to win the Champions League but Bayern is a superb squad
And Mata, who is cup-tied and unable to feature in for United in the Champions League this season, is looking forward to supporting his team-mates from the stands.
“Tuesday is just a great day to consolidate that work although, as you know, I am cup-tied for the Champions League for the rest of the season,” Mata wrote on his blog on grada360.com.
“Bayern is a massive opponent, but United has never feared any rival. I will be supporting my team-mates from the stands once more.
“We are going to try to win the Champions League but Bayern is a superb squad. We must play a very good game in Old Trafford.”
Mata also expressed his delight at opening his Manchester United account during the 4-1 win over Aston Villa at the weekend.
“I must admit that last Saturday in Old Trafford was a great joy,” he added.
“It’s not only about my goal – as I said I will never forget it – it’s also about enjoying football, about that amazing moment when you and those supporting you feel so happy. You shout and celebrate, hear the ovation from the fans and you know they are happy.
“Believe me, that is the best energy in the world, a feeling I can hardly describe.
“Our win on Saturday was special because we went from 0-1 down to prove to ourselves all the things we are capable of.
“We know our position in the table is not what the club and the fans deserve, but we are working to improve it.”
Man United v Bayern Munich: Pre-match facts
• David Moyes is the first manager to take charge of United in Europe other than Sir Alex Ferguson since Ron Atkinson guided them to the Uefa Cup quarter-finals in 1984-85.
• Wayne Rooney, Britain’s all-time leading scorer in the Champions League, has seven assists, two more than any other player in the competition. Four came in the 5-0 victory at Bayer Leverkusen.
• Patrice Evra is banned for the first leg. Rio Ferdinand is a booking away from suspension.
• Bayern Munich are 33 games unbeaten away from home in the Bundesliga (W27 D4).