Juan Mata says Manchester United fans deserve better than the team have provided so far this season.
Super-sub Mata notched the only goal as Louis van Gaal’s Reds ran out 1-0 winners over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday.
United now have 16 points from 11 Premeir League games in 2014/15, but Spaniard Mata, who now has nine goals to his name since his arrival from Chelsea in January, has conceded that their performances haven’t been up to scratch so far.
“The fans deserve better than what they are getting right now,” Mata told reporters. “When I scored it was a great feeling, for me, for the team and for the supporters.”
“When I came on the pitch I just wanted to try to change the game and luckily I did.
“It was massive [the victory]. After two or three games without winning we needed the three points and finally we got them.
“We will try our best in the following games to come back with a good run of results and to go higher in the table.”
United now sit in seventh after the victory – their first in four games.
Neil Warnock’s Palace frustrated the Reds for much of the game, with Van Gaal’s side unable to make the breakthrough or play with the ferocity that the United faithful expect from the 20-times League Champions.
However, Mata was introduced early in the second half in place of the ineffective Adnan Januzaj, snatching the winner in the 67th minute.
And Van Gaal was delighted with the diminutive playmaker’s impact from the bench, and was delighted that his side – much maligned for their shaky defence – killed the game.
“I am happy with the three points,” Van Gaal said. “They came to defend and that is always very difficult to play as a team against.
“We had a lot of time on the ball, we created possibilities, not big chances, but possibilities.
“It was Juan Mata who took the chance and after that goal I think we created more big chances because then they had to come forward.
“We have to finish these chances because they were big chances. But we had to kill the game and we did.
“So I’m happy, we have three points and we are two points behind fourth place so it is in our hands and that’s important.”
Main image courtesy of 5mag via YouTube, with thanks.