May 8, 2017 / 6:26 AM / 3 months ago

Arsenal loss has focused Man United minds on Europa League, says Mata

Britain Soccer Football - Manchester United Training - Manchester United Training Ground - 3/5/17 Manchester United's Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan during training Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff Livepic

REUTERS - After Sunday's 2-0 loss to Arsenal flattened any lingering hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League, Manchester United are focused fully on this week's Europa League semi-final second leg against Celta Vigo, midfielder Juan Mata has said.

United are fifth in the league, four points behind Manchester City with three games left, but while climbing above their rivals into fourth is probably beyond them they could still secure a spot in next season's Champions League by winning the Europa League.

United go into Thursday's home leg of the semi-final with a one-goal advantage over the Spanish side and are favourites to advance to the final on May 25.

"Now we play Celta Vigo and we need to focus on that from this moment," Mata told the club's website. (www.manutd.com)

"We have a really important chance to play Champions League through the Europa League but in the Premier League anything can happen. We will try to win our remaining games and maybe we (will finish) in the top four."

Mata said he was eager to help United's cause after returning to action for the first time since March, when he suffered a groin injury.

"I have been out for the last few weeks but I tried to help the team as much as I could," Mata added. "We have very important remaining games and I will give my best to try to win them all."

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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