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Mata continues to support VAR despite 'goal' being ruled out

Mata had a goal ruled out by VAR as it deemed him offside. Credit: PA

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata continues to support the use of technology in football despite the Video Assistant Referee system controversially ruling out his 'goal' at Huddersfield on Saturday.

Match referee Kevin Young had awarded a goal until the VAR's lengthy intervention, with TV images of Mata's positioning amid wonky lines. The decision did not prove crucial, with the visitors going on to win 2-0 at the John Smith's Stadium in the fifth round of the FA Cup, and it has not put the Spain international off the system.

Writing in his blog, he said: "The truth is, once you have celebrated the goal you are surprised and disappointed (as you could see on my face), but this time, luckily, that goal was not needed to win.

"As I said in a few interviews after the game, even if this time it didn't play in our favour, I think in the future the VAR will be helpful for the referees, who always have a difficult job, and eventually it will bring more justice to football."

Man Utd's Mata wants to play into his forties

Mata has played over 100 games for United. Credit: PA

Juan Mata would like to extend his Old Trafford stay and go on to play into his forties like Manchester United great Ryan Giggs.

Mata has become an influential figure under Jose Mourinho and now has the prospect of extending his contract beyond this summer.

United already hold the option to add a further year and the Spain international is open to discussing a longer stay, even raising the prospect of playing into his forties like Giggs.

Asked if he can see himself finishing his career at United, Mata told ESPN FC: "Why not? I'm 29 and hopefully I can play football for some more years.

"It would be great to play until I'm 40 like Ryan Giggs. But that's still a bit far, still 11 years.

"I'm happy here. The club is massive, the support we have is massive. I've been settled down in the city since year one. Now it's my fourth year in Manchester.

"You never know what can happen in football and in life. But my feeling now is that I'm happy here and I wouldn't have any problem continuing here for more time."

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Mata: Man Utd capable of doing 'great things' this season

Juan Mata has called for Manchester United to "show pride" and react to their run of three straight defeats with wins in league and cup this week.

Jose Mourinho's side crashed to a 3-1 loss at Watford on Sunday, having been beaten at home by local rivals Manchester City the previous weekend and slipped to a Europa League defeat at Feyenoord on Thursday night.

Manchester United have lost three in a row. Credit: PA

Now Mata is calling for a response, firstly in the EFL Cup against Northampton on Wednesday and then at home to Premier League champions Leicester three days later.

"As I always say, one of the best things of football is that the game is testing you all the time," Mata wrote in his weekly blog.

"A win doesn't last too long, and it happens the same way with a defeat: you have the chance to make it up soon afterwards. Two more games this week will give us the opportunity to show on the pitch our pride and skills. There's no time for mourning. We must react.

"First of all, we visit Northampton Town in the EFL Cup, in our first game of the season in this competition.

"We are the favourites in this game and we have to deliver, all due respect to the opponent because, despite being in League One, Northampton Town has already knocked out a Premier League side like West Brom.

"I'm sure the stadium will be packed and they will try to make things difficult for us.

"Next weekend we are back to Premier League, this time in Old Trafford against Leicester. Playing a nice game against the current champions would be the best signal that we could send to our supporters.

"In order to do so, we have to improve and work hard in every sense. I believe this team is capable of doing great things this season. That's how I feel."

Manchester United weren't consistent enough - Mata

Juan Mata says Manchester United weren't consistent enough to qualify for the Champions League Credit: AP

Juan Mata admits Manchester United go into their rearranged final Barclays Premier League game with a bad taste in their mouths after missing out on a top four spot.

United needed neighbours City to lose their last game at Swansea on Sunday to have any hope of claiming a spot in the Champions League.

But City drew 1-1 at the Liberty Stadium meaning that, barring a improbable 19-0 win over Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Tuesday, United will have to make do with a place in the Europa League and Mata says the Red Devils didn't show enough consistency to warrant qualification for the UEFA Champions League.

They could still climb above Southampton from sixth to fifth but the players' attention may already been turning to Saturday's FA Cup final against Crystal Palace.

Writing on his blog on the club website, Mata highlighted injuries faced by the squad as one of the reasons for the lack of success this season.

We will have to close the Premier League season on Tuesday. It's going to be a bittersweet farewell to Old Trafford, now that we know we won't be playing the Champions League next season.

It leaves us with a bad taste because, even if we enjoyed good moments together throughout the season, we weren't consistent enough to qualify for the top European competition.

It's true that we found many difficulties along the way, especially if we talk about injuries (up to 15 players in several weeks, as far as I remember), but Manchester United must be ambitious and always fight for everything.

– Juan Mata
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