Juan Mata says every Manchester United game is 'like a cup final'

The £37m signing made his debut in last night's 2-0 victory over Cardiff City

Juan Mata says Manchester United must treat every game like a final if they are to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.

The £37m signing from Chelsea played 85 minutes in last night's 2-0 victory over Cardiff and appears to have settled quickly in his new surroundings.

The match also saw the return of strike duo Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney from injury.

Despite having only arrived on Saturday, Mata was quick to note the significance of their return.

"We are talking about two of the best strikers in the world," the Spaniard said after last night's match. "They are unbelievable. Hopefully they will score a lot of goals until the end of the season."

Manchester United remain seventh in the Premier League despite collecting three points last night, with the gap between themselves and the top four at six points. However, Mata believes United are capable of making up the ground.

"We will try until the end, for sure," he said. "I think this is a team who never give up. So every game is like a final for us and we will try to win all of them."

Mata received a warm welcome from the Old Trafford crowd and speaking to the BBC after the match, showed his gratitude.

"It was very exciting for me. To be honest - this is unbelievable, the fans are unbelievable. I'm very happy with the team, the lads. They welcomed me very very good. So I'm looking forward to playing more and helping the team."

United manager David Moyes will be hoping Mata can act as the catalyst as United push for Champions League qualification, and while his mere arrival appears to have lifted spirits, Mata also laid out what he hopes he can bring to the team.

"I try my best always. I try to assist. I try to play between the lines. I try to find gaps and try to assist so today I think was a good game but I looking forward to improve."

Who could United add to the capture of Mata?

 

Related articles...
Every game is 'like a cup final' says Mata
Moyes says Mata will be played in various roles
Will United sign any more players?
Manchester United 2 Cardiff City 0 - match report
Solskjaer given great reception at Old Trafford
United to open talks with Nike and their rivals over shirt

 

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent