Excellent from the first whistle to the last, Mata scored a brace at Anfield as Man United wrapped up an important three points. His second strike in particular was one of the goals of the season.
A lot of the pre-match talk focussed on whether or not the returning Angel Di Maria should replace Mata in the starting line-up but Louis van Gaal was more than vindicated in his decision to stick with the same team that beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 last week.
Mata latched on to a superb pass from Ander Herrera to slot United in front before grabbing an acrobatic second thanks to a good pass from Di Maria, who had come off the bench. It was a fantastic performance from the Spaniard and one that delighted fans:
Mata wrote his name into United folklore today just like Forlan did
— Utd Kids Wife ♔ (@UtdKidsWife) March 22, 2015
Wouldn’t it be nice to give Mata a hug tonight
— Lauren (@fateiskind) March 22, 2015
I didn’t think I could love Mata more than I already did.
— Charlotte Cork (@CharlotteCork) March 22, 2015
That Mata goal under the circumstances was poetry in motion
— Schadenfreude (@RickIndeed) March 22, 2015
Juan Mata‘s 2nd goal one of my favourite ever United goals – went so, so bonkers. Supreme technique.
— Dom Nozahic (@domnozahic) March 22, 2015
Juan Mata is a god
— Conor Kelly (@KellyConorp) March 22, 2015
Mata was at his classy best throughout the clash and was rightly voted Man of the Match towards the end of the game.
United decided to part with £37m to bring Mata to Old Trafford from Chelsea just over a year ago, which was then a club record. For whatever reason, the 26-year-old hasn’t quite showcased his full ability during his spell at United but Mata looked every bit a world-class player on Sunday.