Manchester United were determined to beat Huddersfield Town to honour the memory of the Munich air disaster’s victims and their families, says Juan Mata.
The 60th anniversary of a crash that claimed 23 lives, including eight first-team players, was marked ahead of the Premier League match at home to Huddersfield on Saturday.
Goals from Romelu Lukaku and recent arrival Alexis Sanchez sealed all three points for Jose Mourinho’s side, and Spain midfielder Mata acknowledged the importance of earning a positive result on the solemn occasion.
“Obviously it was a special game, a very sad memory,” he said.
“It was a thing that changed the history of the club and the club showed the passion and the energy that we all have in Manchester United.
“So, we pay respect to the victims and their families, and they will always be in our memories.
“It was a game to win for them and we did it.”
We will never forget. pic.twitter.com/Bjo3QrvnmS
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 3, 2018
United were caught cold in a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham at Wembley last Wednesday, when Christian Eriksen put the hosts ahead in the first minute, leaving Mata relieved his side were able to respond at the first attempt.
“It was the kind of game that we needed to have, trying to score from the beginning,” he said of the victory over David Wagner’s Terriers.
“We knew they were going to come here and are a very well-organised side. It took some time to score the first goal and to open the game.
“But I think we did what we had to which was press up, play in the other half, recover the ball as soon as possible and play with intensity. I think we did a good job.”
The result ensured United will end matchweek 26 in second spot, but rivals Manchester City still lead the way by 13 points.
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