MATA: ON TARGET

Posted on: Sun 05 May 2013

Matchwinner Juan Mata feels three points at Old Trafford sets us up perfectly for Wednesday night.

The Spaniard struck late against Manchester United to earn us a crucial three points in the race for Champions League football, but quickly turned his attention to Tottenham's midweek visit to Stamford Bridge.

'It's a very important victory for us. It was like a final,' said the 25-year-old, whose deflected effort was his 19th of the season. 'We have another great game in the week we will try to win and try to be closer to our aim, which is to be third.

'I am scoring more goals than ever. I am really happy but the only thing I want is to keep scoring, assisting and helping my team until the end. Chelsea deserves to play in the Champions League next season. If we play together I think we can do it.'

Neither side had created much in the way of chances in an end-to-end but frustrating clash, only for Mata, with the help of Phil Jones, to make the difference at the death. He admitted afterwards he has seen us play better, but the only thing that counts is the victory.

'It wasn't our best game, it was a bit slow in the first half but we fought to the end and scored after 86 minutes which is important,' he said. 'The other team had no time to react. We were together and now we can get ready for Wednesday.

'It can be a good season for us if we finish third and win a trophy. If we beat Tottenham on Wednesday we will be closer.'

Petr Cech, who had a relatively quiet afternoon for a visiting goalkeeper to Manchester United, felt the late goal could be decisive in our hunt for elite European football.

'It was a massive moment,' he said. 'After the results yesterday we knew we would have to win. We have a massive game now against Tottenham, we go into it three points ahead of them and if we win we will leave them behind. It was a massive moment and changed the preparation for Wednesday.

'It was a strange game. We knew we had to defend and control the game. There was no point committing too many forward but we knew they could be dangerous and during the game you could see how much it meant to us. I found the pace of the game slower than usual but we did well to win.'

- Juan Mata spoke to Chelsea TV after the game and a clip can be viewed above. The full interview is available now via the channel's online access.