Juan Mata couldn’t buy himself a game for Manchester United coming in to 2015. Starts against Cambridge United were about the best he could ask for as the media questioned his long-term career at Old Trafford.
However, suspension for Angel Di Maria has paved the way for Mata to become a star at the club. A delightful performance against Tottenham made it impossible for him to be dropped at Anfield, despite the return of Di Maria.
Two goals in a famous win over Liverpool ensured he kept his spot and Mata was once again brilliant against Manchester City on Sunday, scoring the home side’s third of the afternoon.
There was no calmer head in the stadium as he walked through on goal, half the field to himself and a world of time to mess things up, but Mata calmly played the ball past Hart to put United 3-1 up.
Mata's blog is going to be extra pleasant tomorrow
— The Football Front (@ReviewFootball) April 12, 2015
My love for Juan Mata and the way he plays his football reach no limits. Brilliant player, lovely to watch
— David Selini (@DaveSelini) April 12, 2015
What a player Mata has become…. world class.
— #Rafael (@Kweku_Asiedu) April 12, 2015
MATA YOU BEAUTIFUL MAN.
— James Stretford (@Jamesstretford) April 12, 2015
JUAN MATA! I LOVE YOU
— Teejay. (@JesseUtd) April 12, 2015
Ander Herrera also seems to bring out the best in his fellow Spaniard. The two excel when on the pitch together and continued to link up brilliantly as they played their way through City’s static midfield.
Di Maria was seen to be United’s saviour six months ago, now the question is are United actually better with Mata on the wing than their club record signing?