Juan Mata made his first start for Manchester United since the beginning of February and reminded everyone inside Old Trafford of his quality.
Mata scored on his last start against Cambridge in the FA Cup and although he couldn’t repeat the feat against Tottenham, he did everything else.
Cutting in from the right hand side, Mata was a constant threat to a Spurs side that gifted space to United and he was regularly looking to find the runs of Wayne Rooney.
Whilst the Spaniard wasn’t directly involved in United’s goals, he was neat and tidy and was at the heart of the team’s creative play and it wasn’t lost on the supporters.
Mata, starting after 8 games, connected the midfield and attack ever so well. The respect given to him during his sub was hugely deserved.
— Lisa MUFC (@girlmanutd) March 15, 2015
Great game. Glad Mata proved his worth #mufc
— Mufc (@Bryan_Mufc) March 15, 2015
What a standing ovation for Juan Mata. As if his retiring.
— Pasha (@Pash021) March 15, 2015
— Lee Gormley (@LeeGormley) March 15, 2015
Also, Mata has made a huge difference. Di Maria would’ve either lost the ball, or just tried whipping the ball in for Fellaini constantly.
— Sanj (@Sanj_92) March 15, 2015
After a few brief substitute performances, it was a breath of fresh air to see Mata back in the starting line up and he certainly justified his position in the team.
The question is, with Angel Di Maria available again for the Liverpool match, will Mata be the fall guy with United looking to use the Argentine’s pace on the counter?