Juan Mata believes Manchester United did enough to take all three points in the 0-0 draw with arch rivals Manchester City.
Many fans were left disappointed by the derby – in which there wasn’t a shot on target until the 82nd minute – although pundit Gary Neville described the first half as “probably the best 45 minutes” of the season.
Despite defences dominating throughout, United did come closest to scoring when substitute Jesse Lingard hit the bar, and playmaker Mata feels the Red Devils should have won the match.
“Obviously, all of us were expecting something more from this game, both in football and in the score,” the Spaniard wrote in his blog.
“Honestly, because we pushed more in the second half I think we were closer to the victory than City, but at the end it was one point for each team and both remain up there on the table.
“There was a lot of intensity on the pitch, but it wasn’t easy to find spaces. It was a very tactical game with not many plays inside the box. As always, thanks to the support of our crowd we tried until the end with passion, but we couldn’t make a goal.
“So as the saying goes, if you can’t win, at least don’t lose. We hope you can celebrate a victory in the second leg, you deserve it. In my opinion the team competed at a good level. Everybody knows that they have very good players but we barely conceded chances to them.
“It was a shame not being able to win, but we must be positive and keep going, we are still in the main positions on the table.”
Former Chelsea midfielder Mata was named United’s player of the month for September, but this month was forced to defend his performances for the Old Trafford club, insisting his “stats do not lie”.
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