Manchester United’s Juan Mata apologises for first red card

Spaniard picked up two quick yellows as his side were beaten by West Bromwich Albion

Mike Dean shows Juan Mata a red card at the Hawthorns during the first half on West Brom’s 1-0 win over Manchester United. Photograph: PA

Mike Dean shows Juan Mata a red card at the Hawthorns during the first half on West Brom’s 1-0 win over Manchester United. Photograph: PA

 

Juan Mata has apologised after being sent off for the first time in his career in Manchester United’s defeat at West Brom.

The midfielder collected two yellow cards in just 158 seconds during the first half of United’s 1-0 loss at The Hawthorns on Sunday.

Defeat was a huge blow to United’s Champions League hopes and they are three points behind fourth-placed rivals Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

United now face a crunch month with Europa League last 16 meetings against Liverpool while also playing West Ham and City.

Mata walked after just 26 minutes following two yellows for blocking a free-kick and a wild swipe at Darren Fletcher and has said sorry for leaving his team-mates in the lurch at The Hawthorns.

Second Captains

“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 Spain international wrote in his blog.

“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 these every week, but obviously what hurts more is that my team-mates had to fight with 10 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, but 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.”

Salomon Rondon scored a second-half winner to move West Brom onto 39 points and boss Tony Pulis believes the striker and Saido Berahino are forming a fine partnership.

“We’ve looked better of late — we have Saido and Salomon together. Since they’ve played together we’ve gelled a lot more,” he said.

“Salomon never stops — he’s a fantastic lad and his goal was a great finish.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.