Jesse Lingard admits Manchester United’s draw with Chelsea felt like a defeat following Diego Costa’s late equaliser.
Louis van Gaal’s side took the lead on 61 minutes through Lingard’s fine finish but Costa struck in the first minute of injury time to preserve the champions’ unbeaten run under Guus Hiddink.
Lingard believes United’s performance again showed signs of improvement under Van Gaal but was left frustrated that they could not hold out for maximum points.
“We played the majority of the game well but to concede late on feels like a defeat,” he told Sky Sports.
“It was instinct to turn and hit it [for the goal] but it was the three points we wanted.
“I think we’re playing a lot better now, as a collective we’re doing well.”
Juan Mata echoed the belief that United’s displays have improved significantly since the 1-0 defeat at home to Southampton on January 23 and hopes supporters are now enjoying the brand of football they desire.
“I think we played very good football. Coming to Stamford Bridge and playing the football we did for the first 30 minutes and in the second half,” said the Spain international, who was warmly applauded by the fans of his former club after being substituted late on.
“We had it so close but Chelsea were always trying to create chances but they scored a late goal and we didn’t have time to come back.
“When you win, when you play good football, confidence is back and I think we’re showing now some attractive football. It’s what the fans want to see. I think we’ve played really, really good in the last three or four games.”