Juan Mata celebrates his goal against LASK with fellow scorer Odion Ighalo

Mata loving Bruno and Ighalo link-up

Friday 13 March 2020 07:00

Juan Mata says everyone at Manchester United is "very happy" to have both Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo on board, after the pair made yet another impact on a victory for the Reds.

In Thursday's 5-0 win over LASK in Austria, Ighalo scored a stunning first-half goal - sublimely set up by Fernandes - before feeding Daniel James to double United's advantage early in the second period.

“It's great to have Bruno in the team, and also Odion who is scoring in almost every single game that he plays,” Mata told MUTV's Stewart Gardner.

“They're great guys, and we're very happy now with them in the team.”

Mata beaming after big win in Austria Video

Mata beaming after big win in Austria

Juan reflects on United's 5-0 victory over LASK - and his third goal of the season...

Expanding on his Iberian interaction with Fernandes, our Spanish no.8 said of the Portuguese no.18: “I think we understand football in the same way.

“We like to play the same way, passing and moving and giving lines.

“We like playing with each other and looking for our forwards in behind like we did with Dan today and with Odion who scored a fantastic goal also.”
Mata himself scored United's third goal, and the architect was a player who has almost seemed like a new signing his season. Fred's remarkable renaissance in his second campaign at the club continues week by week in midfield and it was his incisive pass that was just begging to be buried by Mata.

“Yes, it was a fantastic ball from Fred,” acknowledged Juan.

“It was difficult to see my run because there were many players in front of him but he's got that beautiful left foot and that vision. It was a perfect ball and I could finish.

“After that we scored another two goals [through Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira], so I think in the last 15 minutes we killed the game and we are very happy about that.”

The comprehensive win dispelled any notion that United's recent vibrancy in attack might be nullified by a lack of atmosphere, given the game was played behind closed doors at the Linzer Stadion due to coronavirus concerns.

“I don't remember playing behind closed doors before so of course it was a different game,” admitted Mata.

“It feels strange. It's like training, when you play a game in training, there's no crowd and it felt a little bit the same. But of course your mind is in a competitive mood and you know that it is an official game so we did what we were asked to do which is to play in these circumstances. We need to act accordingly and trust in the experts and perform like we did today.
Highlights: LASK 0 United 5 Video

Highlights: LASK 0 United 5

Watch the goals from Ighalo, James, Mata, Greenwood and Andreas that defeated the Austrian league leaders...

“I think we did really well when you look at the score and the performance. It was not easy in the beginning because LASK are a team that press a lot. We didn't have our best game in terms of passing and controlling, and it wasn't easy on that pitch with this ball, but at the end of the day we scored five goals, we are happy and ready to come back to Manchester.

“I would say it was a very professional performance so of course, winning 5-0, we can say that we had a very good first leg. But when we play at Old Trafford we will try to win the game again and play good and try to score and try to enjoy our football like we did today.”

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