Manchester United's Juan Mata says victory in derby is key to top-four target

Juan Mata:
Image: Juan Mata: Full of 'good feelings' when it comes to Manchester United's form

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata is focused on a derby win this weekend to keep hopes of a top-four finish alive.

United will look to extend their winning streak to six matches when they face Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday - a game you can see live on Sky Sports.

Victory over Aston Villa was a “high level” performance, according to the Spain international, and a sign of things to come as Louis van Gaal's side look to secure a return to the Champions League.

Van Gaal believes United will have City worried ahead of the Manchester derby and Mata is feels they are playing well enough to maintain their push for a top four finish.

“The team performed at a very high level, we fought from the very first minute to win the game and we were able to score in decisive moments to make things difficult for Aston Villa.,” Mata wrote in his blog.

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“We tried to use both wings and circulate the ball fast, and actually that’s how we scored. Three great goals I’d say.

“Wayne’s goal was spectacular, really nice to watch; not many players can score a goal like that.

“The team is improving, this is our fifth consecutive win in the Premier League and we want to keep this streak.

“Winning the derby against City the next Sunday could be very important for the battle in the top four.”

United come up against a City outfit who had a similarly decisive 3-0 win over West Brom in their last Premier League outing.

Taking points from City on Sunday could prove crucial in the race for the top four, but Mata recognises the talent his derby opposition can boast.

“A derby is always special and we must be careful with City’s attacking players,” he said. “Because they can win the game in an isolated play.”

Watch United entertain City live from Old Trafford at 3.30pm this Sunday on Sky Sports 1.

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