Juan Mata has dedicated Manchester United’s FA Cup win to the club’s fans following the 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Wembley last week.
Man United went behind in the clash following Jason Puncheon’s strike but Mata equalised to force the contest into extra-time after great work from Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini made it almost impossible for Juan to not find the back of the net.
Writing in his weekly blog, Mata thanked fans and said they deserved the FA Cup. Too right. Support hasn’t dwindled in the last three years and if anything it has united fans together and winning at Wembley was the perfect way for Louis van Gaal to bow out as manager.
Mata was quiet up until his pivotal contribution, a goal which came following a superb run and cross from Rooney. Crystal Palace might be sponsored by the Mansion group, who owns several online casinos like Casino.com, but they gambled and failed at Wembley. Palace should have taken advantage of Smalling’s red card but if anything it buoyed United on and Lingard’s stunning winner from a first-time volley proved enough to seal the game and our first trophy in three years.
As for Mata, he has endeared himself to fans off the pitch but there remains a sense that he should be doing more on it. All too often, he goes missing from games. He’s a magician when he gets it right but at plenty of points this year he’s put in an invisible performance.
I’m a big fan of Mata when he’s on-form but United fans will be the first to admit that hasn’t been the case all season. Mata will now head into a summer of uncertainty as Jose Mourinho is expected to take charge of United this week and as he sold Mata while at Chelsea. It remains to be seen if he has any plans for the forward at Old Trafford.