April 16, 2018 / 10:59 AM / 5 days ago

Soccer: Juan Mata urges United to focus on strong finish after West Brom defeat

(Reuters) - Manchester United must recover quickly from their shock 1-0 defeat by West Bromwich Albion as they try to seal a second-placed finish in the Premier League and an FA Cup triumph, midfielder Juan Mata has said.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace v Manchester United - Selhurst Park, London, Britain - March 5, 2018 Manchester United's Juan Mata REUTERS/David Klein/Files

United’s first loss at home in the league since December handed the title to rivals Manchester City with five games to spare. However, Mata believes the team cannot wallow in defeat as they prepare for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur.

“Second position was not done before the game,” Mata told United’s website. “It was not done even if we won. It is even more important for the next games and we know we have to compete until the last week.

“It’s been a long season but we need to make sure we can compete until the end, that we keep that second position and we fight for being in another FA Cup final and try to win it.”

United lost 2-0 to Spurs when the two sides met in the Premier League at Wembley in January.

Before their cup clash, United travel to 11th-placed Bournemouth in the league on Wednesday while Tottenham face Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Tuesday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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