Juan Mata: Man Utd can pip Man City to second place in Premier League

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata insists that his side can overtake rivals Manchester City for second place if they can beat the teams around them in the top four.

Mata, who has been in fine form of late and scored two goals in the win over Liverpool at Anfield before the international break, thinks his side can put themselves in pole position to qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League automatically.

United are four points clear of Liverpool, while United are only two points behind City with eight Premier League matches remaining and the Manchester derby to come on April 12.

"We are one point and two points from City and Arsenal and I think we can do it," Mata told BBC Football Focus. "We can even be second if we win the direct games against them."

If results go their way, United could go second this weekend as they welcome relegation-threatened Aston Villa to Old Trafford on Saturday.