Is there a better feeling in football? Manchester United’s Juan Mata was given a standing ovation by over 70,000 fans at Old Trafford after he was substituted in the 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.
A suspension to Angel di Maria meant Mata was given a chance to impress the Dutchman and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Excellent from the first whistle, Mata twisted Spurs’ Danny Rose inside out and was a constant threat down United’s right flank. He completely deserved his standing ovation after being brought off on 77 minutes (click here to see the video).
Mata’s performance has given van Gaal a welcome problem when it comes to picking his team for the Liverpool game on Sunday.
Mata may remain in the starting XI, but United would lose Di Maria’s pace on the counter attack. Van Gaal may accomodate both by moving Mata into a central position but Marouane Fellaini also played brilliantly while playing there against Spurs. Regardless, all of United’s players will draw confidence from the game as they move forward.