Spanish international Juan Mata had another impressive weekend in a Manchester United shirt, despite starting the Red Devils’ 4-0 home win over Norwich City in the dugout alongside interim boss Ryan Giggs.
The 26-year-old play-maker replaced Danny Welbeck on the hour-mark and immediately stamped his authority on the game – netting two goals within 15 minutes of his entrance.
The former Chelsea man has been a star player for United in recent weeks, and the injury to Robin van Persie has actually aided Mata’s Premier League performances on the pitch as he has moved to his preferred number 10 role.
After the match, Ryan Giggs labelled Mata’s 30-minute display as a masterclass. The Welshman was not alone in his praise, as the Spanish press were also effusive in their praise.
With the World Cup just around the corner, Spanish press Marca are keeping a scoring system, monitoring all the possible Spanish national players who could be heading to Brazil this summer on a weekly basis.
Despite spending the first hour twiddling his thumbs on the United substitutes bench, Mata still managed to perform as well as any other Spaniard at the weekend – coming out in joint-first alongside the likes of Isco, Koke and Sergio Busquets with a remarkable 8/10 score.
With another couple of winnable home games around the corner against Hull City and Sunderland, Mata has an excellent opportunity to stake his claim for a place in Vicente Del Bosque’s 23-man squad.