Matic: Every game is a new story for us
Manchester United will travel to Brighton and Hove Albion for the second time in quick succession on Wednesday night for our Carabao Cup fourth-round tie, but Nemanja Matic doesn’t expect Saturday’s last-gasp victory for the Reds to have much bearing on the latest battle between the sides.
Our 3-2 triumph at the Amex came in the most dramatic of fashions as Bruno Fernandes fired home the winner from the spot with the last kick of the match after we’d conceded an equaliser with seconds remaining.
Matic admitted to us he’d never played in a game with such an incredible conclusion, but the midfielder expects a completely different contest on Wednesday.
“It has happened a few times, playing a team in the league and then again in the cup [straightaway], but I think every game is a new story and every game you need to prepare at your best,” he told us. “It will be a new game on Wednesday and everything is possible. We know we have to play better. Of course there will be some changes because them and us are playing games every three or four days.
“If they come on the pitch with some of the same players who played on Saturday then we will see those videos and see how they play and the way they create attacks and the way they defend. We can use that. But I think it will be a completely different game. And we are ready to compete again and hopefully we can win again.”
Reflecting on an important first three points of the season, Matic added: “It was not our best game of course, and we all know that. But the most important thing is we won that game. We have to respect Brighton because they played some good football and I think it will be very hard for every team to take points from them. It was a crazy game, we have to admit that. But that’s football, everything is possible in football.
“We conceded the second goal, I think, 30 seconds or one minute before the final whistle, but we kept believing that we could score in the last seconds and we did. Of course with VAR, the referee made the right decision, we all saw that the player played the ball with his hand, so we won and we are happy with three points. But we are not happy with our performance and we know that we can do much better. Hopefully, we will show that on Wednesday.”
Matic played the full 90 minutes in the Reds’ third-round win away to Luton Town with the Serbian declaring our 3-0 win a very professional job.
“We knew it would be hard against a Championship team,” he said. “When you play those teams, you know it will always be difficult and the game showed exactly that. Every team in England has qualities and every team can hurt you, if you allow them.
"So I’m happy we managed to beat them and didn’t concede a goal. The most important thing is we went through and a clean sheet is especially pleasing for the players that play at the back, like me, we are always happy when we don’t concede.”