Juan Mata: Why I felt proud after Man United’s loss to Chelsea

Juan Mata expresses his pride despite Chelsea's 1-0 win over Manchester United on Saturday

Juan Mata insists that he left Stamford Bridge feeling “proud” after Manchester United’s 1-0 loss to Chelsea on Saturday.

The Spanish playmaker was unable to prevent the Red Devils from slipping to a defeat in west London as Eden Hazard’s first-half goal handed Jose Mourinho’s men a vital victory in the title race.

Mata played 70 minutes and was afforded a warm reception from the Stamford Bridge faithful upon his return to the club following his transfer to United back in January 2014.

And the 26-year-old insisted that United could be proud of their performance against the Blues, and also took the time out to thank the Chelsea supporters for their reception.

Mata wrote on his blog: “Today I feel proud. I’m going to tell you why, but as you can imagine this has been a special weekend for me.

“When we were leaving Stamford Bridge, to catch the train and go back to Manchester, I had mixed feelings. I was angry about the defeat, I was thrilled after seeing some old friends, but especially I was proud.

“I felt proud of the game the team had played, keeping the ball possession, controlling the game and creating chances to score, and all this at Stamford Bridge against the leader. As our manager said after the game, we were loyal to our football idea, and despite the score didn’t show that, if we keep playing like this there will be many more wins than defeats, I’m pretty sure of that.

“Besides, the team showed personality by playing that way against such a tough opponent, who gave no space in their half of the pitch and defended with so many players. Obviously, we also made some mistakes we have to learn from in the future. But overall that was my feeling about the game we had played: pride.

“The other reason, as you can imagine, is about the reception I was given from the Chelsea fans. It was really moving to feel the people’s respect and affection, and I will always be grateful for that, to them and also to the players.

“I thank them for such affection and I congratulate them for the title they are about to win, because it’s almost done. It was nice to meet them and chat with them after the game, and also the club’s staff, doctors, physios… and feel their respect and friendship. Thanks to all and congratulations.”

Mata will be hoping to feature when United return to Premier League action at Everton on Sunday. The midfielder has scored eight goals and made four assists in 28 Premier League games for the Red Devils so far this season.

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