Juan Mata wins BBC Goal of the Month with Liverpool strike

by Richard Laverty

Juan Mata won BBC Match of the Day’s award for Goal of the Month in March for his acrobatic strike against Liverpool two weeks ago.

The goal was Mata’s second of the game in what was a crucial win for Manchester United at Anfield, one that at the time took them five points clear of their top four rivals.

Picked out by the returning Angel di Maria, Mata swivelled to volley the ball past a helpless Simon Mignolet and put United 2-0 up, something of a miracle given the club’s recent form at Anfield.

Mata was also named Man United’s Player of the Month for March and the same strike against Liverpool was named Goal of the Month, so the awards are continuing to pile up for him.

The Spaniard was the main beneficiary of Di Maria’s recent suspension, starting in his place against Spurs, he was instrumental in a destructive 3-0 win which saw him keep his place for the Liverpool game.

It was a bold decision by Louis van Gaal but one that was justified given Mata was United’s best player and their match winner, he also kept his place in the side for last weekend’s win over Aston Villa, with Di Maria once again coming off the bench.

Wayne Rooney has potentially but himself in the frame for April’s competition after his superb strike against Villa, but he faces an uphill struggle given the strikes recorded by Charlie Adam, Bobby Zamora and Jermain Defoe over the course of the same weekend.

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