Manchester United: Juan Mata targeting top spot in Premier League and Champions League

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Manchester United take on PSV Eindhoven and Leicester this week, with wins taking them top of their group in Europe and top of the Premier League.

Juan Mata says Manchester United will be targeting top spot in Europe and the Premier League when they take on PSV Eindhoven and Leicester City this week.

The Reds moved to within one point of the summit of the Premier League with their 2-1 win over Watford on Saturday, thanks to an injury-time own goal by Hornets captain Troy Deeney.

After a resilient performance that saw United concede an equaliser in the 87th minute only to still leave with three points, Juan Mata has revealed that the squad are focused on continuing their excellent form knowing that two wins from their next two games will see them qualify from their Champions League group as group winners and finish the week top of the Premier League.

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Writing on his weekly blog, Mata said;

"“We could make an important step to finish first in our group in the Champions League and we could climb to the top of the Premier League. This is how we face this new week. We’re feeling optimistic, as always, and our goal is to win both games and to have the best possible start to the busy period ahead. Obviously it’s going to be tough, and we will need to be at our highest level to beat PSV and Leicester. But let’s go little by little.”"

The former Chelsea attacker started on the right-wing once again against Watford and while he didn’t stand-out, he completed 90 minutes again and linked well with Jesse Lingard and Memphis Depay alongside him. Mata believes that it was the spirit of the team that got them the result after an injury-hit team was fielded following the international break.

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"“About our last game against Watford, it’s never easy to have the full squad available after an international break. We’re not being very lucky with trips and injuries this season so we went to Watford and the team had several changes with respect to the previous game, but still we were hoping to get the three points. And we did it.“I wouldn’t say it was a nice football game, but I think that in the first half, and especially in the first few minutes, we were the better team and, as a consequence, we got a good goal from Memphis. “In the second half, we had some chances but it’s true that they did good pressing and we couldn’t play the ball and control the game. They converted a late penalty but we showed great courage to score again before the final whistle and, following other results, we climbed to second position in the table. “I’d like to highlight that we kept the team spirit until the end and I hope we do it throughout the whole season. A tough win like this one, when you don’t play very good, means more than three points”"

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Mata will be looking to keep his place in the team despite the expected returns of Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney when United host PSV at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, where they’ll look to avenge their defeat from September and secure qualification before they travel to Germany for the final match-day.