David de Gea was brilliant in goal
David de Gea was in top form for United at AnfieldGetty Images

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has admitted the team has become overly-reliant on David de Gea. The 25-year-old goalkeeper was the Red Devils' star man once again in their Europa League defeat to Liverpool at Anfield, and Mata admitted it is a bad reflection of the team's current form.

United have been widely criticised by pundits and fans for their insipid performance against the Merseysiders, and Mata says there needs to be a dramatic improvement in their results in the coming weeks.

"David was very good as always. That's not a very good sign for us because it means that they had even more chances to score," Mata told the club's website. "We need to move on, we need to learn from this game and we need to come back next week stronger."

Despite their two-goal deficit, Mata thinks United can turn around the tie against Liverpool. "We never give up," Mata explained. "We will try to start from the first minute and try to score. Last season I think we beat them 3-0, so we can do it. It's going to be tough because they are a good team with a good manager, but we could do it with our fans at home."

The Spaniard said United need to move on from their recent disappointments and return to winning ways, starting with their weekend FA Cup tie against West Ham United. "The FA Cup is very special for all of us and it is against a very good team like West Ham. We need to recover as soon as possible and then focus just on the FA Cup. Then, after the weekend, we can look at the Europa League again.

"It was not a good performance and not a good result obviously," the United star added. "But we need to move on, we need to win on Sunday. It is a chance to play at Wembley again. And then we come back in this Europa League competition, and try to do what they did to us, which is create the atmosphere and play with aggression and intensity. We have to do that next Thursday."