Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata believes both he and the club are reaching new heights under Roberto Di Matteo.
While the Blues, who face Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday, won the Champions League last season, their brand of football was far from universally admired. That has changed this season, though, with former Valencia man Mata at the heart of their new dynamic style.
"I think the football we're playing has taken the club, and my game, to a different level," Mata told the Daily Mirror. "We are playing the kind of football I have always loved to play, with freedom up front, all of us trying to pass and create with quality."
Chelsea go into their game against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday knowing that a win could take them back to the top of the table.
The Spaniard joined the Stamford Bridge outfit in 2011, and missed the dramatic games, mostly in the Champions League, against Liverpool which have made it such a highly-anticipated fixture.
Mata was part of the Chelsea team that beat Liverpool in the FA Cup final last season, and says he is aware of the fierce rivalry between the two clubs.
'Playing against Liverpool is a tough game, as I realised last season when we lost in the Carling Cup, in the league as well,' Mata told Absolute Radio's Rock 'n' Roll Football.
'I think we have to be strong at home.'
'We are feeling really good playing in Stamford Bridge with our supporters, with their support. It's going to be tough.'
'But I think if we want to win this Premier League, we have to be at the level in these kind of games, against massive rivals,' he added.
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