Juan Mata advised to copy Giggs

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Football News

Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata would do well to learn from Ryan Giggs's performance against Olympiakos on Wednesday night.

That's according to former-Arsenal defender Martin Keown. Writing on his Daily Mail blog, the Premier League-winning centre back said Mata would settle in quicker if he took a more direct approach on occasion.

Keown compared Mata's performance in the 3-0 defeat to Liverpool to Giggs's outstanding display against United's Greek opponents at Old Trafford this week.

He said: "He [Giggs] had a good game and offered United better balance than Juan Mata did against Liverpool.

"Mata is a fine player but can overrun things where Giggs was not afraid to go direct. With Welbeck coming inside, Giggs had more targets to aim at but Mata would do well to follow his lead and try to feed his teammates early."

Mata, a £37.5m January signing from Chelsea, has struggled to find his feet in the United set-up so far.

But, as a player of obvious quality, Keown believes he just needs time to adapt to a slightly different style of play. The Spain international remains one of the best players in the Premier League, but with United struggling, the conditions haven't been perfect for a smooth assimilation.

Last night's 3-0 win over Olympiakos secured progress into the last eight of the Champions League - but more importantly, served as a welcome tonic for David Moyes and the United players after a torrid few days.

They were rightly panned after a humiliating 3-0 home defeat to rivals Liverpool on Sunday, but they responded well on Wednesday evening.

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Juan Mata
Manchester United
Ryan Giggs

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