Mata won a free-kick just outside of the box in what many thought was the ideal position for the Spaniard. Mata has a brilliant free-kick record and he could not have placed the ball in a better position.
However, the 27-year-old stepped over the ball and let Pereira strike it over the wall and into the back of the net.
It was a dream moment for the young Brazilian, scoring on his first competitive appearance for Man United.
“I asked Juan for the ball and he gave it to me,” Pereira said.
“We’ve been practising together and he trusted me. It’s very special for me to score my first goal, a free-kick at the Stretford End as well. It’s just like a dream come true. I’m very happy for my family, for impressing my manager and doing well for my club.”
The goal capped off a great performance from the 19-year-old, yet another exciting prospect to come through United’s youth system. Pereira also admitted that playing at Old Trafford for the U21s aided his transition to the first-team.
He added: “I think it helped. You get a bit more used to the pitch and the stadium but it’s different with the fans inside. Hopefully I can do well and keep progressing.”
Pereira was voted as United’s Man of the Match following the clash and it was a completely deserving award. The youngster started on the left wing and seemed intent on taking on defenders and creating as many chances as possible. It was a fantastic display from Pereira and one United fans will be hoping they get to see on a more regular basis.