Juan Mata was delighted to be joined on the scoresheet by his compatriot Cesar Azpilicueta in yesterday’s impressive victory against Arsenal.
Mata is no stranger to goals in a Chelsea shirt – though his glorious effort from the edge of the box was his first of the 2013/14 campaign – but, for Azpilicueta, finding the net is an understandably rare occurrence given the right-back’s position on the pitch. The Spaniard did score in a post-season friendly against Manchester City in May, but yesterday’s was his first competitive goal for the Blues since joining the club the summer before last. Mata believes there was no worthier recipient.
‘I am so happy for Cesar. He trains more than anyone and he fully deserves it, the goal and the celebration after.
‘He is always ready to play, like everyone in our squad. Yesterday was his day.’
Of his own goal, Mata said he was delighted to score because it put some breathing space between us and Arsenal, in-form opposition that make the victory all the sweeter. Mata has now scored in three consecutive games against our north London rivals.
‘We tried to do our best in the game but it was difficult because Arsenal are playing wonderful football in the Premier League and the Champions League,’ Mata said. ‘I think we played a complete game from the first minute to the last.
‘We had chances to score, we had some possession and we fought against a great team. In the end we are through so I think we are all really proud and really happy.
‘It’s very important for our confidence. After beating Manchester City and Arsenal we are feeling strong because they are very good teams and we beat them.’
Mata hasn’t always been guaranteed a starting berth like in previous campaigns, with a host of attacking options at Jose Mourinho’s disposal. However, the 25-year-old thinks our squad depth, very much on display at the Emirates, can only be a good thing as we challenge on four fronts.
‘We have a very long squad, 24 or 25 players, and everyone is waiting and looking forward to playing. It’s difficult for the manager to make the decisions but you want a team like this, fighting for each other and trying to win every game.
‘I just try to play and enjoy my football. I always try my best for this club during every training session and every game, and I’m always going to do that. I really enjoyed it yesterday on the pitch yesterday, I always want to score and to assist and that’s what I did.
‘I also feel very glad for the fans that came to the stadium and the ones that were watching on TV, I think they can also be very happy with the game.’
– A clip of Juan Mata talking to Chelsea TV after the game can be viewed above with the full interview available now via the channel’s online access.