Juan Mata was selected as the Man of the Match for Manchester United in their 3-0 Carabao Cup win over Brighton & Hove Albion. However, the Spaniard was quick to praise new signing Donny van de Beek as the former Ajax midfielder provided one of the assists on Mata as he ‘back-heeled’ a pass through to the Spaniard. With his goal Mata has been involved in 13 goals in his last 15 starts for United.
After the game Mata praised Van de Beek for his part in the easy win over Brighton: “It was a very clever assist. He’s a very clever player,” Mata told Sky Sports. “I love playing with him because he finds pockets and spaces. He understands football in a way that I like, which is playing one-twos, passing and moving, and the goal was like that.”
The veteran midfielder was pleased to play a full game on Wednesday and praised the performance of his side. “They have a great manager who tries to play attractive football. They also change the system in the game, so you have to be alert,” he said. “Today I think we played really good. We created chances in the second half, we had even more chances to kill the game. So we’re happy today.”
“We want to lift trophies for our fans. We want to do it again. We try to win every game. This is different this year with the early stage. I feel good physically and mentally and have a passion for the game. I have a lot of football left in my legs and my mind.” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side next face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday before a two-week international break.