Juan Mata stars in Manchester United's 2-1 win over Stoke

Juan Mata impressed again as Manchester United earned a fourth successive victory over Stoke City.

Marouane Fellaini opened the scoring for United, nodding home Ander Herrera's cross from the left wing. Steven Nzonzi levelled for the visitors before the break, powering in a low drive from outside the area past the helpless David De Gea, before Juan Mata stepped up to fire in the winner from a free-kick. 

The former Chelsea midfielder is certainly proving a point following his return to the Manchester United starting line-up. He was excellent against Hull, before demonstrating, yet again, against Stoke that he has plenty to offer Louis van Gaal's side. 

Mata was involved in the buildup to the opener and can safely claim to being the architect for the Red Devils eventual second-half winner. His tricky delivery seemed to outsmart everyone on both sides, before finally landing past Asmir Begovic in the Stoke net.

  GoalsTotal ShotsShot Accuracy (%)Chances CreatedTotal PassesPass Accuracy (%)DispossessedTouchesAppsMins
Juan Mata 1 1 100% 1 63 94% 2 74 1 89

Pushed out wide-left to accommodate for Ander Herrera in the 'number 10' role, Mata was quiet for periods. Mata tends to drift in and out of games, yet his involvement often proves decisive, as was the case against Mark Hughes' Potters. His second-half free-kick secured a victory and all three points for United.

This goal capped an excellent display, throughout which he pulled the strings from midfield. He completed 94% of his 63 passes, whilst fashioning one key pass for his side. As if his performance wasn't already impressive enough, he converted his only attempt at goal. 

Failing to attempt a single tackle, he could do little to prevent Stoke's advances, although this is understandable considering his positioning. While he offered little defensively, this is unlikely to deter Louis van Gaal - after a string of impressive attacking performances, the Dutchman must finally be realising Mata's value. 

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