Resurgent Manchester United will be hoping to take momentum into Tuesday night’s derby against Manchester City, according to new boy Juan Mata.
The Red Devils take on bitter rivals Manchester City on Tuesday night in a highly-anticipated meeting on the back of two improved displays against Olympiakos and West Ham.
After two consecutive away victories, United will hope that they can enter the derby full of confidence and foil their noisy neighbours’ title chances and claim the bragging rights.
United’s record signing Mata wrote in his weekly blog Grada 360: “The team has got confidence and now there is an exciting challenge ahead: our derby against City on Tuesday.
“It will be the first one for me and I’m looking forward to it. You can already feel in the streets that special atmosphere.”
The second instalment of this season’s Manchester derby will still play a major role in deciding the title race as The Citizens look to claw back the six-point-gap between them and league leaders Chelsea.
Both sets of fans will also be expecting top performances from their sides as bragging rights across the city are still up for grabs.
In the weekend fixture at West Ham, a brace from Wayne Rooney secured all three points for the away side and Mata hopes that his new team can finish the campaign strongly – and maybe even sneak into the European places.
Moyes deployed Mata in his more favourable ‘number 10’ position at Upton Park and the team reaped the benefits as the little Spaniard found pockets of space and linked-up play with ease.
The 25-year-old went on: “As you can imagine, today I’m very pleased about the two games we have played this week.We won both and that’s really important; a boost of morale ahead of next week’s game.
“This is football and, whether you like it or not, you don’t get much time to enjoy the victories or mourn your defeats, so I think it is vital to remain mentally strong and focused on our goals.
“That is how we are going to approach to the last stage of the Premier League: as if every game was a cup final.”
In the 2-0 win, Rooney opened the scoring with a magnificent volley from virtually the halfway line which drew comparisons to the famed Beckham strike against Wimbledon more than a decade ago.
On the West Ham game, Mata wrote: “A game to be remembered for Rooney’s stunning goal from the halfway line. I was asking him for the ball, but I think he chose the right option.
“It was spectacular from Wayne.”
Manchester United were also dealt arguably the toughest draw in the Champions League quarter-finals when they were picked to play holders and five-times European champions Bayern Munich.
Pep Guardiola’s formidable Bayern Munich are currently tearing up the German league and have all but confirmed back-to-back Bundesliga crowns.
Mata wrote: “We have been drawn against Bayern Munich, which brings great memories here of the Champions League won in Barcelona in 1999.
“We will have to ask Ryan Giggs about that game and what we can do to beat them.
“It’s going to be very tough, they are having an amazing streak in the Bundesliga and play very good football.
“They are a fantastic team and the favourites to win the title, but we will try to beat them and reach the semi-finals.”
The European heavyweights are looking favourites to become the first team to defend their Champions League crown and travel to Old Trafford on April 1.
Image courtesy of MUFC tv via Youtube, with thanks