Mata: Next time the ball will go in

The Spaniard wasted the Red Devils’ two best chances in Sunday’s defeat to Southampton but remains confident that “it will be a different story next time”


Juan Mata has assured Manchester United fans that there will be no repeat of his profligate display during Sunday’s shock 1-0 defeat to Southampton.

A solitary Dusan Tadic goal was enough to earn the Saints a first league victory at Old Trafford since 1988 as United found themselves undone by a combination of disciplined defending and wasted opportunities.

Mata was the primary culprit, firing wide when Fraser Forster parried the ball into his path and then blazing a shot from an inviting Daley Blind cross over the crossbar as United ramped up the pressure in the final minutes.

Writing in his weekly blog after the match, the Spaniard could not hide his frustration but remains confident that “next time it will be a different story”.

“To be honest, I don’t think we deserved to lose against Southampton,” he insisted. “It was not the best game to watch. They were well positioned and defended very well so creating chances was difficult.

“And yet we were in control of the game. The first half was not very good; the game was quite slow, too tactical. But we kept the ball most of the time, trying to find spaces towards the goal.

“They scored after the break in one of the few chances they had, after a ball that rebounded on the post, and then we tried everything to tie the game. I think we deserved that goal.

“In the last 20 minutes we had chances. I had three myself but it seemed the ball just didn’t want to go in. It would’ve been very important to make some of them because I believe we could have even won.

“I tried every possible way until the end but we just couldn’t make it. Next time it will be a different story, I’m sure.”

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