Juan Mata was on form against Norwich City

Solskjaer's thoughts on Mata's masterclass

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reiterated Juan Mata's importance after his display against Norwich City.

Mata provided assists for both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in what was his first Premier League start since 1 December, when he played in the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.

His selection in manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s XI for the 4-0 win against Norwich was only his fifth start in the league this campaign, and he was used in a right-sided berth that proved to be a masterstroke, with the 31-year-old earning special praise from the boss.

“Juan's quality showed. He was excellent,” said Solskjaer.

“When we get Juan facing forward, he can pick out passes, he can put crosses in. I’m delighted with him. He’s a vital member of the squad.

Solskjaer's press conferenceVideo

“I thought we found him more than we’ve done before, when he’s played. We got him facing forward and creating chances for us.

“We speak throughout the week about what we want him to do it’s just tactical things and you let Juan find the solutions. I can’t find the solutions for him, from the sidelines.

“We want to get him on the ball as much as we can and today he kept finding spaces.”

Asked if he might consider playing Mata more from the start in the Premier League, Solskjaer answered, “Yeah. He’s a very good footballer and we need to find him at his feet.

“We need to know what we’re good at and we’ve got quick players - I could have chosen Dan [James] with his pace, but Juan gives us a different dimension.”

Mata finished second in the Man of the Match poll on our Official App, with 42 per cent of the vote, narrowly behind goalscorer Marcus Rashford, who won on 44 per cent.

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