Juan Mata has admitted that the Manchester United players have been left looking over their shoulders, following their third consecutive Premier League defeat on Saturday.
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United looked to have a top four spot in the bag after a run of six consecutive victories, including wins over Tottenham, Liverpool and neighbours Manchester City. However, their 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion has reopened the door for Brendan Rodgers’ side, who are now just four points behind in fifth place.
Louis van Gaal’s men have lost their last three games without scoring and still have a couple of challenging games to come. They travel to Selhurst Park to play Crystal Palace next weekend, before hosting in-form Arsenal eight days later. Their season then finishes with a trip to Hull City, who could yet need a result to avoid relegation.
In contrast, we face a Chelsea team already with the Premier League trophy in their grasp, before hosting Palace and travelling to Stoke City – with both teams safe in mid-table obscurity.
While United still remain heavy favourites, Mata admits that Liverpool have got the Red Devils shaking in their boots. In quotes taken by the Daily Express, he said: “[It was a] frustrating afternoon for us. If you don’t score, it’s impossible to win.
“We know some teams will do this and we have to find a way to beat them. We need to learn from this and keep going. We know that Liverpool and more teams are coming from behind so we need more points as soon as possible.”