United Briefing: Matic's trophy hunger
Nemanja Matic is desperate to get hold of his first trophy as a Manchester United player after the Reds reached the Europa League final on Thursday night.
The Serbian midfielder came on as a second-half substitute to steady the ship as we looked to seal our place in the Europa League final at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday evening. Against Roma, the Reds lost 3-2 in a highly entertaining semi-final return leg but went through 8-5 on aggregate following our 6-2 win at Old Trafford in the first meeting with Giallorossi.
"I think it's very important to play the final, because when you play for Manchester United you always have to compete for trophies," Matic emphasised in his post-match interview for club media, before casting an eye towards the final.
"We know we can expect a very hard game, Villarreal is a great team with a great manager, so we have to be focused from the first until the last minute and we have to show personality and character in that game. It's not enough just to play the final, you have to bring the trophy back to Old Trafford, so we're going to do our best."
Matic, who joined United from Chelsea in the summer of 2017, just after we won the Europa League for the first time, is yet to lift silverware with the Reds and is eager to get his hands on a winner's medal as soon as possible.
"I'm very desperate to finally have a trophy with Manchester United," the midfield powerhouse told Stewart Gardner.
"I didn't expect that I would have to wait for that long but now we have an opportunity to win one. It's not going to be easy, as I said, we have to be focused but I hope at the end of that game we will be happy and I hope I will finally touch a trophy."
In the Italian capital, David De Gea and Edinson Cavani were the outstanding performers for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, with our goalkeeper pulling off one stunning save after another and our forward netting a brace.
"David was amazing," said Nemanja.
"I think he saved us five or six times in this game. He showed class, personality, character. Edinson also. I'm happy that we have big players with big personalities in our squad. The kids can learn from them, so I'm happy for them also. But I was not surprised because we know that they are world-class players."
Now, following the postponement of our match against Liverpool, United have four games in nine days coming up, starting with a trip to Villa Park to face Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday.
"As you know, the schedule will be hard," the 32-year-old said.
"Every two or three days there will be a game but we cannot do anything [about it]. We have to be focused, we have to be ready to make a quick recovery. We have to be professional for 20 more days. When you play for Manchester United, the last few months are always busy, so we'll be ready I think."
WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY?
We will provide you with the latest press headlines in Media Watch and take some time to reflect on our semi-final aggregate win, so keep your eye out for some interesting match features.
As well, we will share everything Ole has to say ahead of our Premier League trip to the Midlands on Sunday and provide you with a match preview for our encounter with Aston Villa. That should bring you up to speed with everything you need to know ahead of our upcoming fixture.
Matchday Review: We're going to Gdansk!
🎥 MATCHDAY REVIEW: Watch MUTV's post-match show in full after Cavani, De Gea and co sealed our place in the final...
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
We started the day by publishing Thursday's Media Watch before turning our attention to the evening's semi-final encounter with Roma.
In the evening, the Reds lost 3-2 against the Giallorossi but still booked a place in the Europa League final. We had it covered by publishing the match report, photo gallery, and key talking points, as well as revealing our Man of the Match and sharing post-match reaction from Ole and United captain Harry Maguire.