Since leaving Stamford Bridge back in January, Juan Mata has performed better than former Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard, according to Opta.
The Spaniard has taken his time to adjust to life at Old Trafford after initially struggling under David Moyes, but has become a prominent fixture in the side under Louis Van Gaal who is now reaping the rewards as a result.
Hazard succeeded Mata as the club's number 10, but despite helping the Blues race to the Premier League summit is statistically inferior to the player in which he was teammates with for 18 months.
Magical Mata deserves move praise
With injuries hampering United throughout the entire first half of this season, Mata has stepped up to become one of the best players in the side.
He was on the scoresheet as Liverpool were swatted aside at Old Trafford on Sunday, with his perfect header coming either side of goals from forwards Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie.
His free-kick against Stoke City edged Mark Hughes' side when they visited Manchester two weeks ago, whilst a stunning shot from range also proved the difference when Crystal Palace came to town last month.
The 26-year-old will be hopeful of further success when United travel to the Midlands to face Aston Villa on Saturday, but may be dropped to the substitutes bench with Angel Di Maria having recovered from a hamstring injury.
Hazard has scored one more goal than Mata, but has needed three more games in which to do so after featuring in all 16 of Chelsea's Premier League games this season to date.
Mata has featured in 13 matches and registers a goal or assist every 137 minutes, 21 minutes less than Chelsea's Belgian winger.
He also has one more assist than Hazard, having clocked up five compared to the Belgian's four.
Head to head
The pair may be set to do battle for the title after United's recent surge towards the summit.
They are currently eight points behind Mata's former employers going into the festive period but will be hoping to bridge that gap a little bit more by the time the New Year rolls along.
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