Mata: Man Utd are upset but will bounce back

Sergio Aguero’s strike saw Manchester City record their fourth consecutive win over Manchester United, but the midfielder has faith in the squad’s improving form

Juan Mata has revealed the Manchester United squad are “very upset” following their derby loss to Manchester City but is confident the team is improving.

Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium leaves Louis van Gaal’s side 13 points behind league leaders Chelsea after just 10 games, with the club winning just three matches this term.

United played the majority of the game with 10 men following Chris Smalling’s first-half red card and despite the disappointment Mata praised his team-mates’ effort against the champions.

“A derby is always special and the one in Manchester is really intense, you can feel it in the streets during the week,” Mata wrote in his latest blog post, titled ‘Fighting until the end’.

“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 Aguero 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.”

Next up for United is the visit of Crystal Palace on Saturday before a trip to Arsenal after the international break, and Mata urged unity in the face of the latest disappointment.

“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 continued.

“Our situation is not nice, I can tell you, but I’m fully confident that we will change it against Crystal Palace.”

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