Match-winner Juan Mata reacts as Man Utd scrape victory in Kristiansund friendly

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has stressed the importance of fitness as his side beat Kristiansund with an underwhelming performance in Norway.

The Reds were comfortably the better the team throughout the game, dominating in territory and possession and creating a hatful of clear openings.

But it wasn’t until Mata converted a penalty in the last minute until United secured the win on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s home soil.

The Spaniard was brought down by the Kristiansund goalkeeper in the box having been played through with a sumptuous through ball from Paul Pogba. He then slotted the penalty with ease to claim victory.

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Speaking to MUTV, Mata understood the importance of maintaining the 100% winning record during this pre-season tour, following victories over Perth Glory, Leeds, Inter and Spurs.

“Yes, that (fitness) is the most important thing. Even when we win, it is always better to win for the confidence, today was tough, they defended well, but I think we moved the ball quick and the fitness levels were okay,” said the Spaniard as quoted by Manchester Evening News.

It was the least convincing performance of the tour but a win nonetheless, and United should go into the final pre-season game against AC Milan in Cardiff with confidence ahead of the new season.

The Reds begin their Premier League campaign in under two weeks time against Chelsea on August 11th.

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