• Premier League

Mata: Congratulations City... but it's not for keeps

ESPN staff
May 12, 2014
Juan Mata celebrates with Robin van Persie following his goal © Getty Images

Juan Mata congratulated Manchester City on their Premier League victory before warning that United will be challenging to win it back next season.

While Manuel Pellegrini's men were celebrating the title at the Etihad, United were ending their season 1-1 draw at Southampton which assured they finished seventh - their lowest since 1989-90 and the first time they have failed to qualify for the Champions League in 19 years.

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Writing on his official website, Mata said: "Our final position in the table is nothing we feel proud of.

"At United, if you don't win the Premier League one year you know you have to do it the next one, and we will get ready for that.

"I believe it's fair to congratulate Manchester City for winning the title. We will try to bring the celebrations to our side next year."

Mata, who curled in a second-half free-kick to ensure United did not end their dismal season in defeat, had admitted before the match that United had suffered a crisis in confidence since Sir Alex Ferguson left, while claiming the club would be better off without the Europa League next season.

Interim boss Ryan Giggs, meanwhile, was full of praise for United's players and fans after their draw at St Mary's.

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Giggs, who took over on a temporary basis when David Moyes was sacked, was speaking to the press following the draw at St Mary's when footage of City's title celebrations appeared on a television. Giggs jokingly asked for it to be turned off, before turning to face the other way.

On the match, he said: "It's obviously been a frustrating season, but I enjoyed that second half.

"The players and fans were brilliant, and I didn't want it to end. Southampton probably had the better of the first half, but as the game went on there was only going to be one winner. I'm really proud of the players today.

"The fans have supported us all throughout the season and they showed it again today; they never stopped. On behalf of the players and staff, I'd like to thank them. They've been brilliant this season; obviously they've been lucky to win so much over the years, but this year hasn't been our year.

"As I've said before, we'll come back bigger and better."

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