Juan Mata scored one and assisted another as Manchester United recovered from a goal down to beat Wolfsburg 2-1 on in the Champions League Group B fixture at home on Wednesday night.
United were on the back foot after just four minutes of play at Old Trafford after a Daniel Caligiuri goal. Mata won and scored a penalty in the 34th minute to level things before setting up Chris Smalling with an incredible flick eight minutes into the second half.
While Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay, Wayne Rooney and David De Gea grab the spotlight, Mata’s role in United’s impressive run of form is often overlooked by everyone.
The Spaniard was spot on yesterday.He completed 98% of his passes and created 5 chances.
The Spain international has been in superb form since the start of the new Premier League season and has scored or assisted more than half of United’s goals thus far.
His quick-thinking and vision to set up Memphis Depay against Sunderland on Saturday’s 3-0 win tells the whole story about his skills and competencies. While most players would have loved to volley that ball, Mata took the safe route to register a goal in final moments of the game.
Yesterday’s flick that pulled things level for the Red Devils was another classic display of Mata’s game intelligence and cleverness.
Louis van Gaal has given Mata freedom to drift to central areas which allows Valencia or Dariman to overlap and usually creates havoc in the opposition defence.
Mata has directly involved in 29 goals at United since his 37.1 m move from Chelsea.