Daley Blind has described Juan Mata as a “joy to watch” after the Manchester United playmaker scored and provided a glorious assist in the 2-1 win over Wolfsburg at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
Mata has been in fine form this season, scoring four goals and contributing the same number of assists in 10 appearances, and earned rave reviews from his impressed teammate.
“Mata is a joy to watch," the Netherlands international was quoted as saying by UEFA.com. "He is a great football player, a great guy as well and he was very important for us and the team."
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Louis van Gaal, however, was less impressed with Mata’s overall performance - even though the Spaniard was awarded the Man of the Match away by Manchester United’s official Twitter account.
Asked if Mata is one of Europe’s best players after the match, Van Gaal was quoted by ESPN as saying: "I have seen Mata playing better than today. So I can say as a manager he played very well and that I agree with you, but I don't agree with you."
LvG is wrong: Mata was superb
According to Squawka, though, as well as scoring and setting up Chris Smalling’s goal, Mata also created five chances, completed 39 passes and had a remarkable 98 per cent pass accuracy rating.
Blind wasn’t the only Manchester United player to praise the in-form Mata after the final whistle.
Captain Wayne Rooney posted a photo on Instagram with his United teammate, alongside the caption: “Big 3 points. Great to see @smalling on the score sheet along with this man, he's on fire! @juanmatagarcia #mufc”.
Perhaps Van Gaal was keen for the praise not to go to Mata’s head - although if there’s on player who can keep his feet on the ground under such circumstances, it’s the grounded Spain international.
Manchester United fans: is Juan Mata currently your best player? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!