Mata voted our September Player of the Month
Juan Mata has been voted Manchester United’s Player of the Month for September 2020, following an impressive and influential start to the season from our gifted Spanish forward.
Such recognition from supporters only highlights the important role that Mata played throughout his two appearances in September, which were both in Carabao Cup wins over Luton Town and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Juan made his 200th start for United in the third-round tie at Kenilworth Road, opened the scoring from the penalty spot and then took home the competition’s Man of the Match award.
The 32-year-old was back in the starting XI for our fourth-round outing at the Amex Stadium a week later and his impact was similarly positive, after he assisted Scott McTominay’s opening goal with a perfect cross, doubled the lead with a neat finish - netting his 50th United goal in the process - and once again claimed the official star-man award (as well as our own).
Mata's nerveless penalty at Kenilworth RoadVideo
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised the experienced playmaker following the final whistle in midweek and admitted his performance has given him a selection dilemma, suggesting Mata might be involved in our first match of October – against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday.
“I am enjoying it as much as ever,” Mata told Sky Sports on Wednesday night, fresh from his stellar performance against Brighton.
“I feel good as always, physically and mentally, and I'm hungry. I have still passion for the game and I feel I still have a lot of football in my legs and in my mind.”
Congratulations, Juan, on your Player of the Month success.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:
“We know we are a young team and we know we have different qualities in different players, but Juan created more or less every moment in this game [against Brighton] that was at the highest quality, in the attacking sense and defensive. Then one time he tracked Dan Burn and he saw off a cross to the back post against a six-foot-seven centre-back, I think that shows how conscientious he is as well. So he’s a very, very valuable member of the squad. A top professional and it’s never easy to tell him when he’s not playing. He has had a fantastic career, he’s won whatever there is to win and he is an example for everyone to look at, for how you conduct yourself and how you perform when you get the chance.”
Donny van de Beek:
“I’m really happy to play with players like Juan. He’s so creative and an amazing passer, he can play on one touch and that is also what I like. I think we make a good combination on the pitch and, for sure, I am happy to play with a legend like Juan.”
All the Angles: Mata v BrightonVideo
Mata reached a half century of United strikes on Wednesday and hopes to net many more, as he continues to be a valuable player for the club. Let’s break that number down into shareable facts…
One in five: Juan has now scored 50 goals in 257 appearances across all competitions and that gives him a strike rate of 0.19, which is essentially one goal every five games.
Favourite opposition: Crystal Palace and Leicester City are the clubs Mata has scored against the most as a Red, netting four times against each side.
From the spot: Six of Mata's 50 United goals have been penalties, in matches against Crystal Palace, Wolfsburg, West Bromwich Albion, Reading, AZ Alkmaar and Luton Town.
Up the rankings: Mata's 50th goal moved him above George Mutch (49 goals) on the club's all-time goals list, placing him in 55th alongside Arthur Lockhead. He is now one behind Steve Bruce, Gordon Hill and Roy Keane.