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Tough defeat but we must carry on. There’s no truce in the calendar

11 Dec 2017

Hi everyone,

We’re starting yet another busy week with two more games; in this month of December there’s no truce. Unfortunately, we couldn’t finish the week as we expected since the derby at Old Trafford didn’t work out as we wanted. City took the lead, we tied the score before the break but in the second half we couldn’t overcome their second goal. We were close, but in the chances we had the ball just didn’t go in. The truth is these are three points like in any other game, although the defeat is painful because it was a derby. We must carry on, knowing that there’s still a long way to go. The calendar gives you no time for mourning and we have to focus on what’s next.

This week we have two more games: the day after tomorrow against Bournemouth, and Sunday against West Brom. The list of fixtures is very demanding this month so it’s important to get to each game in the best condition possible. I think we have the ability to do it, even though we know these are the toughest weeks of the season. We are Manchester United and we have experience in playing every few days. In fact, last week we came back to beat CSKA in the Champions League and secure the first spot of our group. It was the best way to finish what has been a very good group stage for us.

Thanks to that, precisely, this morning we will keep an eye on the draw for the round of 16 that is taking place at 11:00 GMT. Personally I have no preference, but I think being in the draw as first of our group is already important. So we will see the draw and then we will already focus our attention on the game against Bournemouth.

In Spain, the teams on the top side of the table got the three points, with a convincing victory of Real Madrid against Sevilla, a win of Atletico against Betis (to complete a year undefeated in away games) and especially Valencia, who beat Celta and keeps the pace of the best teams. With these scores, Barça had to win at Villarreal and they did it. I was really pleased to see Sergio Asenjo playing for Villarreal again after overcoming yet another serious injury. He’s an example of perseverance and self-improvement.

Aside from football, this week I’d like to congratulate my fellow Spaniard Lydia Valentin for winning three gold medals in the Worlds Weightlifting Championships. This isn’t the most popular sport in Spain, and she deserves a lot of credit for all the things that she has achieved in the last few years. Congratulations, Lydia.

Also, this week we welcomed Kasper Schmeichel and Tessel Middag to Common Goal. We are really happy for that because it means adding up two footballers from important countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands. We keep growing and I’ll keep thanking you for all your comments. Thank you on behalf of the entire Common Goal family.

Have a nice week. Hugs,

Juan Mata

Juan