!–Article Start–>Juan Mata admits it is good to see his friend Ander Herrera back playing in the Manchester United first team again, after Herrera scored in United’s 3-0 victory over Everton on Saturday.
Herrera joined United last year but couldn’t get into the team consistently under Louis van Gaal in his first few months despite consistently impressive performances. However, after the turn of the year, Herrera was a mainstay in the side and one of the pivotal players in securing United a top four finish.
Now, though, Herrera seems to be suffering again, with van Gaal giving him chances only rarely. He started for the Reds for the first time in almost a month against Everton and as well as scoring United’s second goal, he added an extra incisiveness to the team, injecting urgency into attacks, which has been missing for games without him.
He and Juan Mata have had a special relationship since his arrival, seemingly together at every opportunity, whether that is on or off the pitch. Mata is delighted to see his friend, whom he gave lifts to training every day when he first signed for the club, back in the starting line-up and also with an emphatic win at a difficult ground.
Mata, in his weekly blog post on Kicca, said: “Last Saturday we got a solid victory at Goodison Park, always a tough stadium to get the three points. I think the score reflects the good work the team did. We managed to take our chances despite Everton’s strong start and pressing. The first goal was very important, and with the second one things were going in our favour.
“I’m really happy to see my friend Ander Herrera back on the pitch, contributing his class and his ability to score goals.”
Herrera is likely to be starting once more in Wednesday’s game against CSKA Moscow after Van Gaal hinted that will not change much from the side that faced Everton against the Russian side, who are currently top of the Russian Premier League.