Juan Mata hails Man United’s defensive strength

Juan Mata Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion

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Manchester United go into the international break in high spirits after a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion and Juan Mata claims they are in a good position for a title challenge.

The Red Devils got all three points against the Baggies thanks to Jesse Lingard’s first goal for the club and a late penalty from Mata after Anthony Martial was fouled by Gareth McAuley, whose misery was compounded by a red card.

It was a first win in three Premier League games for Louis van Gaal’s men. While their lack of goals has been frustrating fans – with only three in their last five games and audible shouts of ‘attack, attack, attack’ coming from the Old Trafford faithful – Saturday’s shut-out was a sixth clean sheet in seven matches.

Mata admits it has been a team effort to stop conceding goals and that is playing a massive part in helping them win points and remain in the top four.

“I think we are doing great defensively,” Mata told MUTV. “David [De Gea] is obviously a world-class goalkeeper and we have great defenders who are doing really well, but the whole team is trying to defend compact and I think that is the key to winning games.”

When questioned on a potential title challenge from United, the Spaniard added: “It was a difficult month for us with some tough games, but I think we are still in the position to do it.

“We have a lot of games in late November and December and we have to be at our best level.”

After the international break United travel to face Watford and are 1.73 to take all three points from Vicarage Road, while the hosts are on offer at 5.00 with the draw priced at 3.40.

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