As soon as Juan Mata was sent off for Manchester United against West Brom on Sunday afternoon, the jokes about what the Spanish playmaker might write on his weekly blog began to do the rounds.
Some people suspected that Mata might shy away from his blog altogether after his foolish red card.
The 27-year-old picked up two needless yellow cards in the space of three first-half minutes and was subsequently ordered to leave the pitch by referee Mike Dean. United went on to lose the match 1-0, with Salomon Rondon scoring the only goal of the game for the Baggies.
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However, Mata fronted up this morning and took full responsibility for his actions - although it’s clear by his words that he felt the red card was harsh.
He is now fully focused on Thursday’s huge Europa League clash against fierce rivals Liverpool.
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Mata explains his feelings after red card on blog
“Let’s stay on the right track despite this blot,” Mata began.
“After almost 500 games as a professional player, this Sunday I was sent off for the first time in my career. As you can imagine, it’s not easy for me to write these lines. The truth is this is a new and strange situation for me, not easy to assimilate, but we learn from everything.
“I know that, in football, we see things like these every week, but obviously what hurts more is that my team-mates had to fight with ten men for a long time. I have the feeling that both decisions were rigorous; that, in many occasions, we see more serious fouls that are not penalised in such a way, but at the same time I could have avoided them and I take responsibility.
“It also leaves me with a bad taste for the supporters who travelled to the stadium, and for those who were watching the game from home, but I must carry on as always and from now on I’m already focused on the next game, the derby against Liverpool in the Europa League.
“In this sport there’s no time for celebrations or moaning, and after last Wednesday’s joy for the win and the goal against Watford, now I have to go through a more bitter experience. That’s the way it is. What matters is to move forward and to always learn from each situation. And so I will.
“The team was in a good shape. I hope this blot won’t make us forget that we were on the right track, and that we have to keep believing in ourselves to achieve the goals that are still in our minds from now until the end of the season.
“That’s it for today. I take responsibility in the good and the bad moments, as I’ve always done and I will always do. Thank you very much for your support.
Van Gaal's bizarre comment about Mike Dean
Louis van Gaal also felt the red card was harsh and bizarrely hit out at Mike Dean for not taking Mata’s character into consideration before showing the red card.
"The referee has to know the person who makes the tackle and that Mata never hurts an opponent," the veteran Dutch coach was quoted as saying by BBC Sport after the match.
Mata should have known better
But Mata could have few complaints. A player of his intelligence and experience should have avoided both of those yellow cards on Sunday.
Did Juan Mata deserve to see red against West Brom? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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