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Mata eyes Liverpool scalp after Cup win at Chelsea

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Juan Mata’s Manchester United beat Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. Xinhua

LONDON (Reuters) – Manchester United will be looking to derail Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes when they host the Merseyside club at Old Trafford on Sunday, midfielder Juan Mata has said after his team ended Chelsea’s FA Cup title defence on Monday.

United beat Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to set up a quarter-final clash at Wolverhampton Wanderers and now switch their attention back to the Premier League and the top-four race.

“It is one of those games that we have in our calendar with a red spot waiting for it. It is one of the big ones,” Mata told reporters.

“Obviously we want to win. We play at home and hopefully it will be a very good day for us at Old Trafford.” Liverpool are tied with Manchester City at the top of the table on 65 points having played one game fewer than the defending champions.

United, who were 11 points off the top four when Solskjaer took charge in December, are currently fourth with 51 points, a point above both Arsenal and Chelsea.

“In the Premier League our main target is to get top four after a very good run of results,” Mata added. “One or two months ago it seemed pretty impossible to get where we are now.”

United must build on their 2-0 win over defending champions Chelsea in the fifth round of the FA Cup and go all the way to the final, caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said.

United have had to play two tough away games at fellow Premier League top-four contenders, Arsenal and Chelsea, to reach the quarter-finals, and now play another top flight side in Wolverhampton Wanderers in the next round.

“We want to get to the final,” Solskjaer told reporters after the win at Stamford Bridge.

“It’ll be a tough away game against Wolves, but it seems like both we and our fans love the away games. It didn’t feel like an away game with that support behind the goal.

“We lost the final to Chelsea last year. My last game (as a player) was a loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup final. Last time we beat them in the cup was 20 years ago, apparently.”

“We play Liverpool next week, but Chelsea, Arsenal and us will fight for that fourth position… three good teams fighting for that one position. But this was about getting through to the next round,” Solskjaer added.

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