Sport : Football

Mata happy with Chelsea life

27th December 2012, 02:27pm

Juan Mata: Scored Chelsea's winner at Norwich

Juan Mata: Scored Chelsea's winner at Norwich

Juan Mata is happy with how things are going at Chelsea - and reserved special praise for David Luiz after he impressed in midfield at Norwich.

The 1-0 win at Carrow Road was Mata's 50th appearance in the Premier League and came less than a season a half after he joined the Blues.

He also bagged his 13th goal in all competitions this term, already bettering his tally from the whole of the last campaign.

Rarely has a foreign player made such a seamless adjustment to English football as Mata, who has enjoyed the unwavering confidence of all three Chelsea managers he has played under.

Last season, he featured in 34 of Chelsea's 38 league games, while this term he has played a part in 16 of 18.

But despite his 50 matches being the most of any outfield player at the club over the same period, Mata had no intention of allowing his team-mates to catch him up.

"I want to play more, I want to keep playing, keep training, keep enjoying this club and this Premier League," he told Chelsea TV.

Modestly describing his goals tally as "not bad", he added: "I'm very happy with how it's going - the season - for me and for the team and I just have to keep working."

When Mata works, almost invariably so do Chelsea.

His six goals in eight games have co-incided with the club's revival under interim boss Rafael Benitez.

Mata's dip in form before that also tallied with the Chelsea slump that saw Roberto Di Matteo sacked.

Indeed, the club were becoming too reliant on Mata's goals and assists under Di Matteo, and it is crucial they do not fall into the same trap again.

Benitez appears to recognise the need to spread the load around the team, his decision to move David Luiz from defence into midfield once again proving inspired against Norwich.

Mata said of the Brazilian's transformation: "I'm not surprised.

"I know that he's a very, very good player, top player.

"He's able to play in different positions, at centre-back, in midfield.

"He's a complete football player."

Mata stressed the importance of Chelsea keeping a clean sheet in what was only their second 1-0 win of the season.

"Our four defenders were really good," he said.

"All the team played like a compact team, like Rafa wanted."

He added of his goal: "The most important thing is that it was the winning goal."

That winner saw Chelsea close to within four points of second-placed Manchester City with a game in hand, while remaining 11 behind runaway leaders Manchester United.

Mata said: "These three points gave to us a lot of confidence to be closer to the Manchester clubs."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Football Videos

    Grant eyeing Falkirk success

    Grant eyeing Falkirk success

    27-May-2015

    Falkirk defender Peter Grant is hoping to emulate his father's achievements when he faces Inverness in the Scottish Cup final this Saturday, live on Sky Sports .

    Liverpool players celebrate Kolo's new contract

    Liverpool players celebrate Kolo's new contract

    27-May-2015

    Liverpool players let their hair down in Dubai with a song and a dance to celebrate Kolo Toure's new contract. Courtesy of @lukequarton

    FIFA respond to allegations

    FIFA respond to allegations

    27-May-2015

    FIFA Director of Communications Walter De Gregorio answers questions following the arrest of several FIFA officials on corruption charges.

    LMA Awards

    LMA Awards

    27-May-2015

    Take a look at the opening of LMA Awards, where Bournemouth's Eddie Howe was named manager of the year.

    Sky Bet

      • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

    Facebook Favourites