As United top the Premier League for the first time in nearly two years he says English teams are hampered in the Champions League because of the Premier League “rat race”. I can accept losing sometimes, but we made it very easy for them in the second half.
“Our victory, together with City’s defeat, took us to the top spot in the table, which is something new for me since I came to Manchester United“, Mata wrote in his blog.
“It’s my fifth goal of the season for United and I’ve scored for England, so it was just all about getting off the mark in the league”. United will lock horns with Arsenal on October 4 at Emirates Stadium.
Van Gaal has admitted that due to the physicality of the English top flight, clubs will be forced to rest a few of their best players, but has also backed their chances to advance to the next round.
However, Van Gaal remains optimistic all four Premier League representatives can progress. “You can see it in the enthusiasm amongst fans when we play a game”.
United’s second arrived immediately after the restart when Wayne Rooney ended an 11-game drought with a close-range finish and then Juan Mata completed the 3-0 win in the last minute of the game.
The teenager is now living in a hotel with his wife Samantha and daughter Toto, and Van Gaal believes that the switch to a more permanent living arrangement will be testing. “I am a very happy with him“.
Van Gaal also declared himself a “very happy coach” as he could rotate his players and pointed to his side having the best goal difference as another positive.
“We have a lot of games to go but we have to think about how we change things in the squad, as players”, he added.
United with be without their three left-back options with Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Patrick McNair all ruled out with injury, meaning Ashley Young is like to be forced into playing at full-back on Saturday.