Mata made injury worse chasing Salah but hopes Man Utd won't be without him for long

The Spanish midfielder was one of four Red Devils players to pick up knocks against Liverpool, but has offered a positive update on his setback

Juan Mata admits to making the injury he picked up against Liverpool worse by chasing Mohamed Salah, but hopes to be back for Manchester United “as soon as possible”.

A remarkable first half during an eagerly-anticipated clash at Old Trafford saw four Red Devils pick up knocks, while Roberto Firmino was forced off for the visitors.

Mata, Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard had to be replaced inside the opening 45 minutes of a goalless draw, while Marcus Rashford nursed his way through the pain of an ankle ailment.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now waiting on updates regarding his walking wounded – having already lost Anthony Martial and Nemanja Matic – with the games coming thick and fast in domestic and European competition.

Mata believes his knock is not too serious, but is unlikely to play any part against Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

That is a source of frustration for the Spaniard, who admits luck deserted United on the injury front against their fiercest Premier League rivals.

Mata wrote in his personal blog: “Everything possible seemed to happen to us.

“If there is a game that no United players want to miss, it is when we play Liverpool, but you have to accept that injuries are a part of the sport.

“Luckily, I can’t remember having faced a similar situation in a game and that is after more than 12 years as a professional, it is the first time that a muscular injury has forced me off during a match.

“In reality, I have to be grateful, as it is an uncommon record for a football player, but this one came during a derby. It was a shame, and on top of that it wasn’t the only injury – Ander and Jesse both had to go off for the same reason.

“It was incredible that all of this happened in just the first half. It wasn’t the dream start we’d imagined for such a big game, but the team competed well despite the injuries and we even had the better goalscoring chances.

“In terms of my own injury problem, I could feel something for a few minutes and I hope that I didn’t make it worse when racing to stop Salah on the counter-attack (I had to do it!).

“I’m hoping it isn’t anything serious. I will do everything that I can to get back as soon as possible.”

After taking on Palace in midweek, United are set to play host to Southampton on Saturday.

They then have the return date of a Champions League last-16 clash with Paris Saint-Germain to take in before facing Arsenal in the Premier League and Wolves in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

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