Former Chelsea playmaker kitted out for new club for the first time, performed impeccably and helped Manchester United achieve victory.
Featuring in the same attack as Robin van Persie, Manchester United's latest incumbent of the number eight shirt Juan Mata, 25, produced a passing performance high on quality at Cardiff City's expense as the Old Trafford outfit secured a 2-0 triumph at Old Trafford.
While there were stronger displays from maligned winger Ashley Young who was a menace down the left flank as well as van Persie who had not lost a step despite only just returning from injury, Mata registered solid statistics such as one assist, four chances (one less than Shinji Kagawa has all season), 65 touches and 45 successful passes from 52 attempts.
The magnitude of the occasion was not lost on the Spaniard, who first of all reinforced his belief that the greatest fact to take away from the game with Cardiff was the result, rather than any individual accomplishment on his behalf.
'The most important thing is that we won, we got the three points,' he told Sky Sports.
'Hopefully we go on a good run of results. It was an amazing game for me, I tried my best, my team-mates are very good and the experience was unbelievable.'
The result does not see United rise from their seventh spot in the Premier League, however, it does move them up to a 40 point haul, just three points adrift of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur and a half dozen away from North West rivals Liverpool, who have collected 46 from 23 matches.
image: © Gordon Flood