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Juan Mata believes Manchester United are capable of winning all of their remaining Premier League games and pipping Manchester City to the title.
United cut City’s lead at the top of the table to 12 points with a 3-0 win over Stoke City on Monday night — one day after Pep Guardiola’s side were beaten 4-3 at Liverpool.
They have 15 games left to close the gap, but Mata insists it is still possible.
“Manchester City are doing things really well,” Mata told Radio Marca. “We are second and we managed to cut three points after winning at the weekend and City losing against Liverpool. We are 12 points away and they have a big advantage, but we don’t give up and we intend to win all of our remaining games and see where we are at in May.
“If there’s something that the Premier League has, it’s that in recent years, it has been kind of crazy, things happening that you wouldn’t see in any other leagues. We hope that is the case and we can have a chance.”
Mata has made himself a regular in Jose Mourinho’s team over the last month, starting eight of United’s last nine games.
The 29-year-old is hoping his form can earn him a place in the Spain squad for next summer’s World Cup in Russia.
A World Cup and European Championship winner, he was left out of the last squad for games against Costa Rica and Russia and failed to make the cut for Euro 2016 in France.
“I’m hopeful. My hope remains intact,” Mata said. “I’ve had the privilege of being perhaps in the best generation in the history of Spain, competing and winning the World Cup and European Championship.
“I’m playing a lot at United. I’m enjoying football. I’m 29, I’m at an optimum age. I’m eager to continue to do things well in the next few months and for Julen [Lopetegui, the Spain coach] to call me up. It would be my third World Cup and I hope I can give my contribution.”
Rob is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.