Manchester United got back to winning ways when they overcame Queens Park Rangers 2-0 on Saturday, but they did not have everything their own way and they had to work hard for the victory.
It was somewhat telling that United’s goals came from second-half substitutes Marouane Fellaini and James Wilson, with the Belgian international netting in the 58th minute and the teenage striker ending the game as a contest with seconds left to play.
Prior to that United had struggled, with Louis van Gaal’s insistence on picking players out of position a source of frustration for many fans of the club.
One player who struggled to influence the game – despite one wonderful ball to set up a chance for Radamel Falcao – was Juan Mata.
The Spanish international has been a regular under United manager Louis van Gaal but against QPR he could not stamp his authority on the game.
Much of that could have been down to the formation, but when Mata was replaced by Fellaini few United fans would have expected what came next, with the £27.5million making a breakthrough that had alluded his more illustrious colleagues.
After the match we took to Twitter to see what United fans thought of Mata’s performance and you can read a selection of what we found below:
Mata has been so poor— DIPLO (@diplomaticsound) January 17, 2015
Rooney and Mata both been poor. If only we had a world class midfielder elsewhere on the pitch.— #MataOUT (@CCUJJ) January 17, 2015
Fellaini on for Mata ain't a bad move, not changing our formation now that's a bad move #mufc— Nathan Laffy (@laffaaay) January 17, 2015
Great ball there from Mata!!!— Lozz⚽️ (@lauren_boydx) January 17, 2015
Would be great if di Maria, Rooney and Mata (our three best creative players) were playing in their actual positions— Justin Allen (@RedSaffer) January 17, 2015
juan mata has been disappointing ,won't even lie about that.— lsb. (@IamLeBzini) January 17, 2015
Di Maria much better in that midfield position than Mata is. Should be playing there more often, rather than striker.— Priya Ramesh (@Priya8Ramesh) January 17, 2015