Juan Mata congratulates Andreas Pereira after Brazilian makes competitive debut for Manchester United

by Sid Choudhary

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has congratulated his teammate Andreas Pereira after the latter scored in his competitive debut for the club.

The pair helped Man United cruise to a 3-0 win over Ipswich Town in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday and Pereira marked his first appearance with a brilliantly taken free-kick goal.

Mata himself won the free-kick on the hour mark and, with United already a goal to the good, was generous enough to let the Brazilian have a go. Pereira didn’t disappoint, getting the ball over the wall and back down again in a flash to double United’s lead.

The 19-year-old was the standout performer at Old Trafford on his first senior start at Old Trafford. He was the bright spark in a dull first half, before he truly announced himself with his stunning free-kick.

Mata himself put in a stellar shift, continuing his good form after his showing against Southampton on Sunday. Starting on the right-wing, the Spaniard looked to bring the ball into the middle and create opportunities for those around him as much as possible. He played the role to perfection, as he linked up efficiently with the likes of Ander Herrera and Wayne Rooney to make inroads against a weak Ipswich side.

Both players will now turn their focus back to the Premier League when Sunderland visit Old Trafford on Saturday. Mata is almost guaranteed to start, having been taken off with 20 minutes to play to gain at least a little bit of a rest.

Pereira, on the other hand, knows that the hard work starts now for him. Having played his way into the side, he will now have to try impress Louis van Gaal enough for the manager to start him in the league. The youngster is yet to appear in the competition for United but, with performances like tonight, it is only a matter of time before he gets his chance.

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