Juan Mata treated Manchester United fans to a truly mesmerising performance during their side’s 3-0 win over Leicester City in the Premier League.
The Spaniard initially struggled on the right hand side, with Jose Mourinho opting for a 4-4-2 system during the early stages, but quickly displayed signs of his usual technical bravado once the Portuguese switched to a 4-2-3-1 after 20 minutes.
He capped off a splendid technical display with a wonderfully worked goal in the 49th minute, sliding the ball past Kasper Schmeichel after a one-two with Henrikh Mkhitaryan
His stats from the game shed light on what was a convincing performance against Claudio Ranieri’s side.
Mata's game by numbers vs. Leicester City:
1 key pass
92% pass accuracy
Who's the greatest player… 🎼🎼🎼 pic.twitter.com/qkmEAvuKT4
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 5, 2017
Mata’s inclusion at the King Power Stadium was greeted with undertones of scepticism, with many questioning why the Spaniard – guilty of missing two open goals in his last couple of league outings – had been picked over Anthony Martial, who grabbed two assists on his last start for Man United.
But the 28-year-old quickly dispelled any doubt surrounding his inclusion with a performance replete with smart touches and clever passes on the right hand side. He was, along with Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, always bursting forward against a confidence-sapped Leicester side and duly received his award after 49 minutes.