Matic: We had to show character

Thursday 28 April 2022 23:55

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has praised the Reds’ character after playing one of his final games at Old Trafford.

Our no.31 produced an assist in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea, just a few weeks after announcing that he will depart the club at the end of the campaign. 

United struggled to trouble the Blues in the first half and, after half-time, Thomas Tuchel's side went ahead through a Marcos Alonso strike on the hour mark. 

However, a classy ball over the top from Matic just two minutes later found Cristiano Ronaldo, who fired in his 17th league goal of the season. 

“We had to first of all show character, the will to equalise,” the Serbian explained. 
Matic: It was a positive night for us Video

Matic: It was a positive night for us

Nemanja Matic shares his thoughts on our Premier League draw with Chelsea...

“We did not let our heads go down. 

“They [Chelsea] scored a great goal but after a couple of minutes, as you said I was involved, my assist. Cristiano scored a fantastic goal, so yeah, I think at the end a draw was a fair result.”
Matic was also keen to praise the Old Trafford faithful for their part in the result. 

“The reaction after they scored the goal was great, the atmosphere in the stadium at the end was fantastic. Thanks to all our supporters.”

It was a bittersweet night for the 33-year-old on what will be one of his final appearances for the Reds. His substitution drew a warm ovation from the Theatre of Dreams who showed their appreciation for his efforts in the contest against his former side. 

“In the last five years, I have tried to my best for this club, to put that on the pitch,” Matic said.

“I think they recognise that, so thanks to them.”
Highlights: United v Chelsea Video

Highlights: United v Chelsea

See the key moments from Thursday's penultimate home fixture at Old Trafford...

This departure does not mean Matic, who signed for the club in 2017, will forget his time at United in a hurry. 

“As I said, I will do my best and Man United will forever stay in my heart. I am very proud that I was part of this big club. Not every player has the opportunity to represent this badge.”

He vowed to give his all in our last three games of the season and was optimistic of development for the Reds going forward. 

“We have to try win these last three games.

“We know the season has not been amazing for us, but this club has to look forward, to look to the future. I’m sure Manchester United will come back and will improve."