Juan Mata was sent off half way through the first half on Sunday, during Manchester United’s 1-0 away defeat against West Brom.
While the team put in a terrible performance regardless, Mata has acknowledged that his sending off made the situation much more difficult for his teammates.
After almost 500 games as a professional player, this Sunday I was sent off for the first time in my career. As you can imagine, it’s not easy for me to write these lines. The truth is this is a new and strange situation for me, not easy to assimilate, but we learn from everything. I know that, in football, we see things like this every week, but obviously what hurts more is that my team-mates had to fight with ten men for a long time.
I have the feeling that both decisions were rigorous; that, in many occasions, we see more serious fouls that are not penalised in such a way, but at the same time I could have avoided them and I take responsibility. It also leaves me with a bad taste for the supporters who travelled to the stadium, and for those who were watching the game from home. I must carry on as always and from now on I’m already focused on the next game, the derby against Liverpool in the Europa League.
In this sport there’s no time for celebrations or moaning, and after last Wednesday’s joy for the win and the goal against Watford, now I have to go through a more bitter experience. That’s the way it is. What matters is to move forward and to always learn from each situation. And so I will.