Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata feels ‘angry’ that the Red Devils were held at home to Stoke despite dominating the game.
United went one nil up courteasy of Anthony Martial’s second half strike but ultimately paid the price for failing to add to their tally with a number of missed opportunities before Joe Allen levelled the scores in the 82nd minute.
The draw leaves Jose Mourinho in sixth, five points behind rivals Manchester City after seven matches.
‘As I’m writing this I’m feeling angry because the team played really well but we didn’t win… ‘ wrote Mata in his weekly blog.
‘We drew against Stoke, as you know, and I feel that we were very close to get the third win in eight days. It was a pity, that’s the truth. My perception from the pitch was that we were playing a good game, creating chances, passing the ball effectively, but we couldn’t complete our job. We have to take the positive aspects and know that if we keep playing like this, we will definitely get good results.’
The Spaniard will have some time off after failing to make the cut for Spain’s World Cup qualifiers.
‘After a bad week with several defeats we did what we had to do: stand up and keep working hard to change that. We got to the next round in the EFL Cup, had a solid win against Leicester and defeated Zorya with work and experience. Against Stoke, the team was full of confidence and we wanted to keep the good streak. We did it in terms of football and the way we played, but not in the score.’
Mata heaped praise on Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant, who stole the headlines with a fantastic performance in the Potters’ goalmouth.
‘We went for the victory since the beginning, we were better than Stoke and we felt that Old Trafford was supporting our effort. In the first half, we were very close to get a goal several times. We have to give credit to Grant for his great performance. In the second half we finally opened the score with a very nice goal from Martial, but in the last few minutes they took advantage of a good play to tie the game. We gave everything until the end but we were unable to get those three points that were so important and that (with all due respect to our rival) I think we deserved.
‘With only one point instead of three we are not in the best mood to take the international break, but we are aware that, at our level, everything is possible this season. We have five games in October that are very important and we will give our best to make it a good month. Manchester United has always had challenges and the one we have this season is still there.
‘Many times in sports you must learn to accept those games when, even if you do many things well, you don’t win. That is football, and that’s why it’s such a nice and exciting sport.’