Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has explained that his praying celebration following his second goal during his side's 2-2 draw with Leicester City on Saturday evening was in dedication to a group of youngsters in Mumbai.
The Foxes went ahead before the half-hour mark through Jamie Vardy, but five minutes before half-time the Spaniard put his side back on level terms with a tidy finish into the bottom corner.
There's a 100 things Man Utd could have done differently to win yesterday. United could have converted chances or defended better for the last goal.— Man Utd Channel (@ManUtdChannel) December 24, 2017
No point targeting a youngster or picking out 2-3 mistakes out of a 100 possibilities.
Get behind the ladspic.twitter.com/Nr6ApFdkxz
The Red Devils continued to press in the second-half and eventually found the breakthrough thanks to a sublime free-kick courtesy of the 29-year-old, to which he peeled away in celebration before staring down the television cameras and praying, a promise he has revealed he made to a group of children who travelled to Old Trafford from India in October.
“It was because when the kids from the OSCAR Foundation that we work with for Common Goal came to Old Trafford to visit me, they asked if I could do this kind of celebration for them", Mata told MUTV.
“For the first goal, I didn't do it because we needed another goal but, for the second one, I thought about them and this goal was dedicated to those kids in Mumbai.”
Following his visit to Mumbai, the midfielder helped to launch the new global initiative Common Goal, which aims to convince players to donate one per cent of their salary to Football For Good charities, such as the OSCAR Foundation.
Mata's second of the afternoon was eventually cancelled out by Leicester's Harry Maguire in second-half stoppage time.