Manchester United star Juan Mata has hailed the importance of starting the Premier League with a victory against Tottenham Hotspur after the Chelsea and Arsenal setbacks against Swansea and West Ham "showed how tough it is to get a positive result in the first game".
The Premier League giants beat Mauricio Pochettino's side 1-0 on Saturday 8 August in a tough game at Old Trafford just before the Blues were held to a disappointed 2-2 home draw against the Wales side after playing most of the second part with 10 men following Thibaut Courtois' controversial dismissal.
Meanwhile, on Sunday 9 August the Gunners suffered a heavy 2-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium in the London derby against the Hammers despite arriving to the game in a good shape following their Community Shield victory against Chelsea the previous weekend.
And after United had a complicated start to the last campaign under Louis van Gaal, suffering a defeat against Swansea in the opener, Mata has expressed his delight at starting the campaign with three points, especially after what happened to their Premier League rivals.
"The most important thing was the victory. Not only to start in a different way than last season, but also because the weekend showed how tough it is to get a positive result in the first game," he wrote in his weekly blog.
"Last season we had a bad experience when we lost the first game at home against Swansea, and this time the team was really focused to have a different start. And so we did. As you could see, it was not a brilliant game, but you can understand that, being the first one, there's still a lack of rhythm,"
"It wasn't easy for any of the teams, and the pressure from the opponent made it hard to play a fluid game, but we managed to score in the first half and that goal was enough to get the three points."
Mata also pointed out the good performance of some of the new signing after all Sergio Romero, Matteo Darmian, Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin were handed a starting role by van Gaal.
"There were a few positive things apart from the score. Old Trafford saw the debut of many new players, and personally I think all of them had a good performance. It's exciting to see how quickly they get settled and the warm welcome they got from our supporters!," Mata added.
"From this Monday our minds are focused on the next game against Aston Villa. They have started at a good level after beating Bournemouth away. Then we will face one of the key dates in our calendar: the first leg of the Champions League play-off round against Club Brugge. But let's go step by step. Right now we must think about the Premier League and try to add up three more points."