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Jamie Carragher.

Jamie Carragher: Man Utd player is one of "the most underrated in the PL"

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Manchester United were somewhat back to their best against Arsenal on Saturday - even if they didn't manage to see out victory.

For most of the 90 minutes, Jose Mourinho's men dominated proceedings and were rarely tested by the visitors, thanks in part to some solid defending.

They looked dangerous going forward, too, but were stifled by a combination of poor finishing and some last-ditch tackles.

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Juan Mata's 68th-minute goal would eventually give United a deserved lead but, 20 minutes later, Olivier Giroud spoiled the party with a superb header at the death.

The titanic bout was inevitably discussed on Monday Night Football and during the analysis, Jamie Carragher earmarked one of United's players as one of "the most underrated in the Premier League".

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Since Mourinho's arrival in May, one player's future has been persistently placed in doubt yet he's come back stronger than ever to become indispensable: Juan Mata.

"I think we're looking at one of the most underrated players in the Premier League," Carragher said in the video below.

"I think the reason he doesn't get that credit the others get is that he played his first two years here with Chelsea, then Mourinho comes in - the best manager in the world - and gets rid of him.

"Everyone thinks 'Mourinho can't be wrong, so there must be something wrong with Mata'.

"It's not a flash in the pan. He's been here five or six years and he should start getting a lot more credit."

Three goals and one assist in the Premier League this season is a respectable return, but it's what Mata offers in open play that's most important.

Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League

The Spaniard keeps United ticking with his creativity and energy, despite the fact he's been playing out on the wing instead of his favoured No.10 position.

That desire to make a difference came to the fore against Arsenal, with Mata creating space for himself inside the 18-yard box to brilliantly fire home from Ander Herrera's cross.

Even Gary Neville has been pleasantly surprised by Mata's rise under Mourinho, the former right-back admitting to being proved wrong.

Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League

"I myself questioned whether he fits the profile of a Manchester United wide player, because that’s where he is playing, even if I know he ends up drifting in," Neville told Sky Sports.

"I have to say that's been one of the surprises out of the first few months in Jose Mourinho's reign.

"When Mata came off [against Arsenal] there was a little hug with Mourinho. There seemed to be a level of respect that was not always there when he was at Chelsea, when Mata was ultimately sold.

"He's adapted well, he's played well, and he's always had a good attitude. He's a top player. At the moment, he's doing very well. He was the better of the front three on Saturday."

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Manchester United
Jamie Carragher
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
UEFA Champions League
Football
Premier League
Jose Mourinho
Juan Mata

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