Mata denies Mourinho fallout


After being Chelsea's player of the season for two years running, Mata found himself on the sidelines when Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge at the beginning of the 2013/14 season.

Mata was soon shipped off to United, where he was followed by Mourinho two-and-a-half years later.

Speculation was rife at the beginning of the season that Mata would soon be shown the door, but under Mourinho, he has flourished.

"I've never had a bad relationship with him," Mata was quoted as saying by FourFourTwo.

"We've never had a discussion. Our relationship is normal," said the Spaniard.

"It was simply that, at Chelsea, he wanted to play in a certain way and at United there are other types of players more in accordance with my characteristics. We're both the same, we haven't changed."

United take on Celta Vigo in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday and Mata stressed how important the competition was for them.

"It's very important because it's a trophy that United haven't won and it's another route into the next Champions League.

"We've watched videos and analysed their style of play, which is lively, with talented players and a real defensive intensity.

"The boss has made it clear what this semi-final means to them, to them fans and the city, so we must be at our best to overcome that."