Juan Mata delivered a superb performance in Manchester United’s 2-1 Champions League win over Wolfsburg.
The Spaniard was a continually menacing force on the right hand side in what was a must win game for the home side following their opening day defeat to PSV Eindhoven a fortnight ago.
One look at the winger’s stats shows the extent of his dominance on the right hand side: 98% passing accuracy, five chances created, one goal and one assist. And, on a more general scale, he was Man United’s most assured player when in possession.
United fans have often scrutinised Louis van Gaal‘s decision to deploy Mata, a central attacking midfielder by trade, on the right hand side. It seems that the 27-year-old’s best performances come when played behind the striker.
But following Mata’s rip-roaring display on the right hand side against a well organised Wolfsburg defence, the Dutchman’s decision was justified.
Anthony Martial‘s constant movement allowed for Mata to find plenty of space in an around the visitors’ defence. His goal from the penalty spot was supremely well taken, and his assist for Chris Smalling‘s winner was simply sumptuous.
United fans will hope to see Mata replicate similar heroics in the two upcoming matches with CSKA Moscow next month.