Juan Mata issues Man United rallying cry after Man City defeat
Juan Mata urges Manchester United to 'stick together' after Sunday's derby defeat
Juan Mata has urged Manchester United to “stick together” in the wake of Sunday’s derby defeat by Manchester City.
Sergio Aguero’s second-half goal was all that separated the two sides after United were reduced to 10 men in the first half when Chris Smalling was sent off.
The defeat left United 10th in the Premier League table after 10 games, but Spain international Mata is confident that the Red Devils will come good under Louis van Gaal.
Mata, who was an unused substitute at The Etihad, wrote on his blog: “Today I’m writing to you from home after a defeat that is not easy to take.
“A derby is always special and the one in Manchester is really intense, you can feel it in the streets during the week.
“That’s why it’s hard to accept that we have lost and, despite not being able to help my team-mates on the pitch, I can tell you that the whole team is very upset.
“Playing away against City is always challenging because they have a big offensive potential, as it was shown, but having one player sent off in the first half just makes things more complicated.
“This is the fifth time this season that one of us gets a red card, so unfortunately we already know what it means to have one player less.
“But even if Agüero scored and we were just 10, our team showed pride and almost tied the game, although this time it was not possible. To be honest, right now, rather than looking at the table we have to focus on our path in order to improve and to win games.
“Obviously this situation is not what we wanted, but in this moment the team must stick together and keep on going. I’m sure we will do it.”
He added: “Our situation is not nice, I can tell you, but I’m fully confident that we will change it against Crystal Palace.”