Stats: Was Mata the catalyst for Manchester United's superb Spurs win?

Mata Martinez Spain

Juan Mata made his first start since January in United's impressive 3-0 win over Tottenham.

Manchester United have an array of attacking talent at Old Trafford, all eager and hopeful of playing the number 10 role for the Red Devils.

And until this weekend, arguably the very best of them was struggling to get much of a look in under Louis van Gaal.

But with Angel Di Maria suspended following his sending off against Arsenal, the door opened once again for Juan Mata, with the 2010 World Cup winner more than proving that he should be at the forefront of his manager's thoughts.

Mata was in good form in his first start in seven games, with his movement causing havoc in both Tottenham's midfield and defence. Playing as an attacking midfielder right of centre, the Spaniard gave Danny Rose a torrid time with his quick footwork and positional awareness.

He should now surely be in contention to start against Liverpool next weekend in what is set to be a massive game.

Below we look at how he performed against Spurs:

  TeamTotal Att AssistDuel WonWas FouledTouchesAccurate PassPassing AccuracyAccurate Through BallMins Played
Juan Mata Man Utd 2 5 3 61 43 87.76% 1 77

Though he didn't score or directly assist a goal, Mata was crucial to unsettling Tottenham's defensive plan.

No other attacking player exhibited as impressive a passing accuracy as the former Chelsea star, with Mata also the most industrious when it came to touches on the ball and sheer number of accurate passes compared to the rest of United's attacking foursome - Rooney, Young and Fellaini.

Mata drew more fouls than anyone else, with three free-kicks being conceded, and the 26-year-old's movement between the wing and a more central position was much more intelligent play than the reliance on skill and pace that is common with Di Maria.

After being out of the side for so many weeks, it's possible Mata may just have played his way back into Van Gaal's plans. 

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