Manchester United might be out of the Champions League, and losing more games in the Premier League than they’d like to, but playmaker Juan Mata believes that a good showing in the Europa League could wipe the anxiety away.
The Red Devils lost out 2-1 to relegation strugglers Sunderland at the Stadium of Light this weekend, and that does not bode well for the team that is still trying to break into the top four to make it to the Champions League next season.
However, there is yet another way for Manchester United to qualify for the Champions League, and Mata feels that the Red Devils must now turn their attention to Europe.
“I understand this is not the best possible situation, but it is what it is, and our goal is to keep advancing so we can have the chance to lift this trophy, which would come with a double reward,” wrote Mata on his blog on Kicca.
“My personal experience tells me that if we work for it with excitement it could be a positive way to finish the season, as I lived three seasons ago.”
Mata knows all about winning Cup competitions
In Juan Mata, Manchester United have a player who knows exactly what it takes to win cup competitions like the Europa League. In fact, in spite of winning trophies with Valencia CF and Chelsea FC, the Spaniard is yet to win a league title with any club.
However, Mata has tasted success in the Champions League and the Europa League with Chelsea, and his experience in such situations could go a long way in helping Manchester United win the latter competition this season. Mata has also won the Copa del Rey with Valencia. It would be interesting to see whether manager Louis van Gaal uses Mata’s experience in such competitions to give the United fans what they want — Champions League football at Old Trafford.