Manchester United pulled off an emphatic comeback against Newcastle United following a flurry of late goals.
The visitors were trailing 1-0 by virtue of an early Luke Shaw own goal. Harry Maguire followed up with an equaliser 20 minutes later.
However, despite being awarded a penalty, the Red Devils failed to take the lead in the second half as Bruno Fernandes’ attempt was saved by Karl Darlow.
Nevertheless, the score remained 1-1 until the later minutes of the final stages of the match. After the Portuguese midfielder pushed his side into the lead at the 86th minute, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford followed up with goals of their own.
Rashford contributed to 3 out of 4 of those goals but Juan Mata with an assist to his name is rightfully stealing all the praise and spotlight. The Spaniard displayed a remarkable performance after being handed – what recently has become – a rare start. In fact, it was his first appearance in the Premier League this season.
Mata ran the show for the Mancunians — from bossing the midfield by dropping deep and creating space to also playmaking along the right flank.
Fans were quick to hand deserved praise to the veteran who delivered an admirable performance.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 17, 2020
Juan Mata completed 59/63 passes tonight (94%) but he also completed 28/32 forward passes too (88%). Every lateral (22/22) or backwards (9/9) pass was accurate.
— UtdArena (@utdarena) October 17, 2020
Juan Mata is without a doubt one of the most intelligent players in the sport, you don’t have to be fastest when your brain is already 2-3 steps ahead of those around you. Potentially our MOTM today. 🇪🇸
— ManUnitedMedia (@ManUnitedMedia) October 17, 2020
Juan Mata is such a diamond. Everyone always writes him off, but he never complains. He always acts like a true gentleman and gives 100% on the field, every single time. He works his ass off, and he rarely has a bad game. He honestly deserves so much more credit! #mufc pic.twitter.com/UB6JyN5WaD
— Maren 🇳🇴 (@footballqueeen) October 17, 2020
I don’t think there’s a more creative trio in the Premier League than Juan Mata, Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek. You can just see their brains ticking. It’s a joy to watch three players with that kind of vision and footballing IQ play together.
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) October 17, 2020
I love Juan Mata. He’s played under everyone post-SAF and despite the changing room turbulance and aging body he’s always been a model professional. A few players could learn a lot from his attitude and behaviour.
— David Scott (@arghkid) October 17, 2020
Clearly, the former Chelsea man hasn’t lost his finesse. It might be true that sometimes his ageing body cannot keep up anymore. But it is clear that his footballing brain is still of the highest calibre and he can still deliver big performances.
Despite adding two attacking midfielders to the mix with Fernandes and Donny van de Beek, Ole Gunner Solskjaer still lacks a natural and designated playmaker. The retired Spanish international proved his reliability today. It is no surprise that the 32-year-old is widely adored by the fans.