Manchester United vs Chelsea: Facing former club for the first time was 'very intense', says Spanish midfielder Juan Mata

Mata faced his former club for the first time since moving to United in January

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The Independent Football

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata says facing his former club Chelsea for the first time on Sunday was “very intense” and “special”.

The Spaniard, who moved to Old Trafford from the Blues in January for £37.1m, said the day, which ended with a 1-1 draw, was “full of emotions”.

“As you can imagine, this has been a very intense day for me,” he wrote on his blog, One Hour Behind.

Mata was twice named Chelsea Player of the Year and helped the club win the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup in two and a half years at Stamford Bridge

“A Sunday full of emotions because of the big game against Chelsea. Facing them for the first time was special and the match, very even in my opinion, was tense until the last minute.

“I think we did [sic] a good first half, but we weren’t able to take our chances. In the second half, after [Didier] Drogba’s goal they took control of the game for some time but in the last stage we pushed hard and managed to equalise.

“The truth is I felt very comfortable on the pitch, and it was nice to meet again friends and former team-mates after all these months. In the end, when you are on the pitch you concentrate on doing your job to help your team, and you must be absolutely focused on that.”

Mata, who praised both sets of supporters, believed that a point each represented a fair result, although he knows it is not enough to get United where they want to be.

Mata helped Chelsea win the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup

He added: “A point that wasn’t much at half time was celebrated and deserved at the end of the game, although is not good enough to remain on the top of the table.

“However, I’m sure that we will get better and better and we will climb to the main spots, where United deserves to be. My aim is to work day after day in order to help the team get to its goals.”

The tough fixtures do not let up for Mata and United, who are now in eighth in the Premier League, with a trip to neighbours City on Sunday; a win there would leave Louis van Gaal’s team just a point off City.