Juan Mata issues Man United rallying cry ahead of CSKA Moscow ‘final’
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata says it is vital the Red Devils beat CSKA Moscow on Tuesday night
Juan Mata says it is vital Manchester United beat CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The Red Devils host the Russian side at Old Trafford as Louis van Gaal’s side look to record just their second victory of the group-stage campaign.
CSKA have the same points than us, therefore it is vital to win if we want to top our group
Bundesliga side Wolfsburg are currently top of Group F despite losing to United at Old Trafford after beating CSKA Moscow and PSV Eindhoven.
And Mata, who won the competition with Chelsea in 2012, explained why United’s clash against Moscow is so important on Tuesday.
“We have two consecutive games in Old Trafford and the one this Tuesday is almost a final,” Mata wrote on his blog, One Hour Behind.
“The stats say that Manchester United has never defeated a Russian team at home, so it’s time for that first victory. CSKA have the same points than us, therefore it is vital to win if we want to top our group.
“With the support of our fans we hope to enjoy another great Champions League night in the Theatre of Dreams.”
Mata has scored one goal and has made one assist in two Champions League appearances for the Red Devils this season.
The Spain international has also netted three times and made three assists in 11 Premier League games.
Man United v CSKA Moscow: Match facts
• United are still seeking a first home win against Russian opposition, following three draws. They were held at Old Trafford in Uefa Cup first-round defeats by both FC Torpedo Moskva (0-0 in 1992/93) and SC Rotor Volgograd (2-2 in 1995/96).
• Overall they have won only one of eight matches, home and away, against Russian opposition – that 2009 win at CSKA.
• United are unbeaten in their last seven home fixtures in Uefa competition (six wins, one draw). This includes victories over Club Brugge KV (3-1) in August’s play-off round and Wolfsburg (2-1) on matchday two.
• Wayne Rooney is the only survivor of United’s 2-1 defeat by FC Zenit in the 2008 UEFA Super Cup.