The obituaries for Juan Mata’s Manchester United career were written when Jose Mourinho was appointed in May, and they appeared justified after the Community Shield in August.
Mata was sent on as a substitute in the 63rd minute then taken off in the 89th. It was not because of a knock of some sort. It was Mourinho being Mourinho, and the writing appeared on the wall.
Three years ago, Mata was cast aside at Chelsea and told he could find a new club. Now under the Portuguese manager at Manchester United, that’s changed.
Juan Mata has become central to Manchester United’s winning form under Jose Mourinho
Mata celebrates with Daley Blind after Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored the winner in Saint-Etienne
Mata has become increasingly influential in United’s fight for trophies on four fronts