Spaniard says ‘football is being cruel’ on David Moyes’ men.
Juan Mata believes the football gods are not being kind to Manchester United after Sunday’s extraordinary draw with Fulham at Old Trafford.
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United dominated possession for the entire match but had to settle for a point after Darren Bent’s 95th minute equaliser made it 2-2.
The hosts fired in a Premier League record of 81 crosses but Fulham, led by 6’7″ Dan Burn and debutant John Heitinga, produced a magnificent rearguard performance to earn a valuable point in their fight against relegation.
Mata, who has seen his new club drop points against Stoke and the Cottagers since arriving from Chelsea in January, has insisted United are simply suffering from bad luck.
“Honestly, I think football is being cruel with us,” the Spaniard wrote on his personal blog.
“We did everything to get the three points, but in the end this is about goals and Fulham scored in the last minute… It seems impossible if you look at the stats, but we couldn’t win and it would have been a very important victory.”
Fulham took the lead against the run of play when Steve Sidwell turned in Lewis Holtby’s magnificent pass but United scored twice in the space of 80 second half seconds through Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick.
Leading 2-1 with ten minutes on the clock, a Fulham comeback seemed unlikely and Mata says the draw was even more painful because under were in control of the game when Bent struck.
“It hurts even more because in the second half we managed to come back after Fulham’s early goal, and the game seemed to be under control with Carrick’s goal. But when the score is so tight you may suffer at the very end, as it happened this time.”
Two goals from Charlie Adam condemned United to defeat at Stoke City a week ago in a match where United centre backs Jonny Evans and Phil Jones were both taken off injured.
Mata reiterated that luck was against the Red Devils at the Britiannia.
“It was the same a week ago against Stoke City, with two players injured and one goal after a deflection. It seems that luck is not on our side, but you know that I don’t like to give excuses. We have to get better and improve our shooting accuracy, because we got many times to the box and could have scored more than two goals. I’m sure we will make it, but there are less and less games to play so the sooner the better…
“There is something we can always count on: the team’s passion and sacrifice. We did fight until the end, and that’s what I felt on the pitch, but once again we can’t give excuses. The way to carry on is to stick together, the team and the fans, learn from mistakes and be positive, and we will show the character this team has always had.”