'Chelsea deserve to play in the Champions League' – Mata jubilant after win over Manchester United

The Spain international was delighted with his part in the key victory, while Petr Cech hopes the Blues can put even more distance between themselves and Tottenham on Wednesday

Juan Mata believes Chelsea are worthy of a top-four finish after beating Manchester United to jump back into pole position for Champions League qualification.

The 1-0 victory at Old Trafford, in which the Spaniard’s late deflected effort off Phil Jones separated the sides, leaves the Blues in third place – one point above Arsenal and three above Tottenham who they face on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old feels Champions League football is no less than what the Blues deserve this season, and is confident ahead of the midweek Stamford Bridge clash.

He told Sky Sports: “We have three more games to play in the Premier League and the only thing we want is to win as many as we can because I think Chelsea deserve to play in the Champions League next season.

“If we play together like today I think we can do it. It was very important result for us. It was like a final and we have another great game next week so we will try to win and to be a little bit closer to our aim which is to be third.

“I’m scoring more goals than ever. I’m really happy for it. The only thing I want is to keep scoring, keep assisting and keep helping my team until the end.”

Goalkeeper Petr Cech was also relieved with the narrow victory, adding that it is the perfect preparation ahead of the visit of Andre Villas-Boas’ side.

“It was a massive moment,” he said. “After the results yesterday we knew we had to win. We have another massive game on Wednesday against Tottenham and we go into it three points ahead of them.

“If we win the game then we will definitely leave them behind so this was a massive moment and changed the preparation for Wednesday as well.

“I have to say during the game you could see how much it meant for us, for them it was a prestigious game but I found the pace of the game a bit slower than usual. But we did really well to come here and win.”

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