Manchester United 4 Manchester City 2: Derby victory 'one more step towards Champions League,' says Juan Mata

United saw off their local rivals in style at Old Trafford

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The Independent Football

Manchester United goal scorer Juan Mata says the 4-2 derby victory over Manchester City is just 'one more step' towards Champions League qualification.

The Spaniard scored United's third as Louis van Gaal's men exorcised the ghost of their defeat at the Etihad earlier in the campaign.

United are now four points clear of City and nine above Southampton in fifth place as the chances of them securing European football next season continue to get more favourable.

Goals from Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini and Chris Smalling were enough to see off their struggling neighbours despite two Sergio Aguero strikes.

Mata.jpg
Juan Mata slots in United's third

Mata said: "In the first 10 or 15 minutes, City were brilliant but after that we showed character and came back. It was a massive result and everyone from United is happy.

"The atmosphere was crazy, it's something we will never forget. We have six games to go and have to keep going.

"It's one more step towards the Champions League, it's a big win and a boost to the confidence. But Arsenal are a great team and City and Liverpool will stay fighting until the end."

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