Juan Mata insists Manchester United needed Swansea confidence boost

by Leo Nieboer

Juan Mata believes Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Swansea will act as a much-needed confidence boost for this season.

Jose Mourinho‘s men went into the clash with Bob Bradley’s side with an unwelcome record of no wins in four Premier League games, lagging ten points behind the top.

An emphatic first-half performance, crowned by a Paul Pogba wonder-goal and a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, handed the visitors a comfortable victory in Wales.

The Spaniard, writing in his weekly blog, claimed the win over Swansea serves as a much-needed confidence booster.

“The team needed a win like this one,” he said.

“And so did you. We went to play Swansea with a need to recover once again after a negative result during the week, as we showed from the kick-off.

“We have to find that consistency in the scores to approach the top positions of the table, and I’m sure we will be close to that goal if we are so focused and play with such intensity as we did this Sunday.

“The score was important, but also how we got it, in my opinion. We did a great first half, controlling the game through the ball, and we were very efficient with our chances, so at the end we won and this is the best possible way to face the international break. Obviously, Swansea got better in the second half and they tried to put us in trouble, but despite their goal I think we showed character to keep the three points.

“It’s a boost of confidence ahead of our next game in the Premiership, against Arsenal in Old Trafford, one of those games that everyone likes to play.

“To finish with the match in Wales, let me just say that I was very happy to meet Fernando Llorente, with whom I shared magic moments in the Spanish national team, and also Borja Bastón and his family; his dad played football with my dad some years ago.”

Man United’s first-half display in Wales came as a monumental surprise. A side that, just a mere three days ago, couldn’t piece together any attacking impetus in Istanbul, was suddenly carving open a side they’d only beaten once in the last five years on the road.

And yet, supporters ought to take the result with a pinch of salt: this was, after all, a truly awful Swansea side that Mourinho’s men took apart. They were sapped of confidence and lacked any attacking threat, playing in front of a notably disenfranchised, irate set of supporters.

Even so, this was an illustration of the world-class talent at Mourinho’s disposal. The 53-year-old, as he acknowledged yesterday, still has plenty of work to do, but the game against Swansea shed some light on the true potential of this side, and it was promising to say the least.

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