Nemanja Matić insists United must beat the likes of Stoke in order to be champions

Nemanja Matić insisted that United have to beat the likes of Stoke to be crowned champions after Saturday's 2-2 draw.

Nemanja Matić insists United must beat the likes of Stoke in order to be champions
Above: Nemanja Matić looking dejected during the 2-2 drawv with Stoke City | Photo: Getty Images/John Peters

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matić has insisted that The Red Devils needing to be beating the likes of Stoke City to be in contention for the Premier League title, after their unbeaten record was eradicated on Saturday in their 2-2 draw at the Bet365 Stadium. 

Need to be winning these games 

José Mourinho's side headed into this clash the clear favourites having won all their games going into the international break, the pressure was switched up slightly after Manchester City's 5-0 win over Liverpool earlier in the day and United were shook by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's effort in the 43rd minute before Marcus Rashford got an equaliser in stoppage-time. 

Romelu Lukaku's 150th league goal gave United the lead in the 57th minute but Choupo-Moting's second of the evening saw the points shared, the draw sees United back on top over their bitter rivals just on goal difference and Matić insisted that they need to win these games to be "champions". 

"It was a tough game," Matić admitted to MUTV post-match. "To be honest, it’s always a tough game when you come to this stadium."

“If we want to be champions," the Serbian stated "We have to win games like this because in these games, if you win, you are champion." 

"We have to know against teams like this you have to have a little bit more," the midfielder proclaimed. "You have to be concentrated and of course we’re not happy with a point." 

“It’s always important if you can come from behind," Matić added. "And I think we showed spirit." 

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Amazing to be back in it 

United won't have the time to dust themselves off as they return to action on Tuesday, as it will see Champions League football return to the Theatre of Dreams. 

The Europa League winners will take on Basel for their return to Europe's elite competition for the first time in two years, and Ander Herrera stated that it is "amazing" to be back in the competition. 

"It is amazing to be back in it," Herrera stated ahead of United's return to Europe's elite competition. "Every game is amazing for Manchester United for me but the Champions League is the most beautiful competition apart from the Premier League." 

“We should be in the Champions League," the Spaniard proclaimed. "Even without the Champions League we are the club with more fans than anybody in the world and with the biggest amount of sponsors in the world."

"That is why the game against Ajax [to get back into the competition] was the game of our lives," Herrera concluded. "It was certainly the game of my career."