Mata grateful for Chelsea fans’ applause

Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata has thanked Chelsea’s fans for their rousing ovation following his substitution in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Mata, who was twice named Chelsea fans’ Player of the Season, departed Stamford Bridge for Old Trafford in 2014, following Jose Mourinho’s return to the London club.

And the Spain international took to his personal blog to express his gratitude to Chelsea’s supporters for their rapturous applause when he came off.

“It is always special for me to play in Stamford Bridge,” Mata wrote in his blog. “My feelings are different in a day like this, but once the referee blows the whistle for the kick-off, in my mind the only goal is to win, to give everything you have to help the team and to enjoy on the pitch.

“I have to say that I am deeply grateful for the reception from the Chelsea fans and their applause when I was substituted.”

He added: “From the first minute we went for the victory and played good football, but unfortunately we let slip two points in the last few moments.

“We are improving our game lately and I’m sure this is the way to get a series of good results in the next few weeks.

“The team is playing with more determination and confidence, and we want to keep it this way.”

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