Juan Mata grabs starting opportunity given by Mourinho

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho talks with Juan Mata

Despite rumours linking him with a move away from Manchester United, Juan Mata grabbed his opportunity as he started against Bournemouth.

Manchester United's Juan Mata scores their first goalManchester United's Juan Mata scores their first goal

Juan Mata grabbed his opportunity and repaid Jose Mourinho's surprise faith in him by scoring Manchester United's opening goal as they beat Bournemouth 3-1 on Sunday.

Starting on the right, his was the surprise inclusion in the midfield alongside Anthony Martial, Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini.

Mata started slowly but came more in to the game in the second-half, and it was his strike on 40 minutes that set United on their way to victory at the Vitality Stadium. 

Manchester United's Juan Mata celebrates scoring their first goalManchester United's Juan Mata celebrates scoring their first goal

The Telegraph reported that Mata, was a surprise starter and only in the side due to Jesse Lindgard's injury, but that being said Mata will have shown Mourinho that his career at Old Trafford may not be as dead and buried as reported in The Mirror back in May. 

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho speaks with Juan Mata after he is substitutedManchester United manager Jose Mourinho speaks with Juan Mata after he is substituted

Sky Sports reported that Mata was praised by Mourinho when they stated that he said:

"It was an important goal, a clever goal, a goal by somebody with a natural instinct to play football. I know him very well because I worked with him for six months at a previous club. I know exactly what he can give and what he cannot give, so when the game is the perfect game to give what he can, it is perfect and today it was about this."

But despite these comments Mata faces an uphill battle to convince the United Manager that he has a future at the club. Mourinho is believed to still be in the mindset that Mata is not defensive enough for his style of play as reported in the Daily Mail, and is also believed to be looking to move the player on before the end of the transfer window.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho speaks with Juan Mata after he is substitutedManchester United manager Jose Mourinho speaks with Juan Mata after he is substituted

But Metro has reported that Mata is looking to resolve the differences between to the two, and his performance on Sunday may be the first step in heading in that direction.

Mata and Mourinho had a difficult time when together at Chelsea and that damage will need repairing, and the Mirror even went so far as to report that Mourinho may be open to giving Mata the opportunity to change his mind, something that has also been reported by the Daily Star

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