Tag Archives: Juan Mata

Player Ratings: West Ham United 0-2 Manchester United

These are Fresh Football’s ratings for West Ham United’s home clash versus Manchester United in the Premier League:

West Ham United

Darren Randolph – 6.5

Came up with an important reflex save to deny Antonio Valencia a simple tap-in, with the Irish goalkeeper left with little to work with in denying the visitors’ two goals.

Håvard Nordtveit – 4.5

The weak link in West Ham’s defence, adapted at right back and fully exposed by Marcus Rashford’s entrance in the second half.

Winston Reid – 6

Kept the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic as quiet as possible throughout much of the game, eventually falling foul to an offside goal by the Swede.

Angelo Ogbonna – 6

Much like Reid, Ogbonna kept things tight as best as he could in what seemed to be an inclined pitch following Sofiane Feghouli’s early red card.

Aaron Cresswell – 5

Due to obvious circumstances, we didn’t see the ex-Ipswich Town full back bomb up and down the left flank as often as he would’ve hoped, taking away a key outlet in the Hammers’ attack.

Cheikhou Kouyaté – 5.5

Closed many avenues centrally but also tired substantially as the game went on, allowing for greater dominance by United.

Pedro Obiang – 6

Among the best in a West Ham shirt, evading the bodies situated in the middle of the park to set counters with the ball in his possession, but like his midfield counterpart, Kouyaté, Obiang appeared visibly fatigued in the latter stages of the game.

Sofiane Feghouli – N/A

In his first start for the London club, the former Valencia wide man was sent off rather controversially after just 15 minutes of football.

Manuel Lanzini – 6.5

The key threat going forward, somewhat muted following Feghouli’s red card.

Dimitri Payet – 5.5

Looked sharp in the early exchanges, but he also shrunk in size and effectiveness after Mike Dean’s controversial decision in the game’s infancy.

Michail Antonio – 4

The West Ham top scorer spurned a great chance one-on-one to give the hosts the lead and United weren’t so merciful soon after at the opposite end.

Subs:

Andy Carroll – 4.5

Came on in response to United taking the lead, but the man most likely to find him inside the box turned out to be the player he replaced – Payet. A missed opportunity from Slaven Bilić, rather than anyone else.

Edimilson Fernandes – N/A

Manchester United:

David De Gea – 7

As reliable as ever, De Gea came up with two big saves to deny Lanzini and Antonio a goal either side of the half time interval.

Antonio Valencia – 5.5

Arguably should’ve scored from close range, didn’t, but there’ll be few complaints from a defensive perspective, which is never a bad thing.

Phil Jones – 6

Another clean sheet for the file, strengthening the defender’s case to enter the defensive equation definitively in the José Mourinho era.

Marcos Rojo – 6

Started the game at centre back, ended it at left back. Solid, once again, in both positions, as his versatility begins to prove fruitful.

Matteo Darmian – 5

Victim of a tactical shift at half-time that saw Juan Mata replace him against 10-man West Ham. A solid, if insignificant, first-half performance by the Italian.

Michael Carrick – 6.5

Very sound in conducting United’s search for a goal, keeping them composed, as they eventually broke through the Hammers’ barricade.

Ander Herrera – 6.5

Typically kept play ticking, pressed high to retain possession and provided a threat late in the second half, as the game opened up. Good again from the Spaniard.

Paul Pogba – 6.5

In the same boat as Herrera, the multi-million pound man grew as the game went on, going close to goal himself a couple of times in the second period.

Jesse Lingard – 4

Hit the post from just yards out in United’s clearest goal-scoring opportunity in the first period, as the 24-year-old failed to inflict damage upon a compact West Ham side prior to be replaced by Marcus Rashford.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 5

Not his finest performance of late, with space to operate in proving to be limited.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 5

Starved of service for the best part, but Ibrahimovic still managed to add a goal to his name, despite being in an offside position.

Subs:

Juan Mata – 6.5

The goal scorer of yet another crucial goal for the Red Devils, as he tipped the balance once more in United’s favour.

Marcus Rashford – 7

The key to unlocking the game, Rashford was able to cause disruptions down the left flank and, crucially, assist Mata for the game’s opening goal.

Chris Smalling – N/A

‘He’s Better Than Ozil’ Fans On Twitter Praise Manchester United Midfielder After Arsenal Match

Manchester United were perhaps a shade unfortunate not to take the 3 points against Arsenal in yesterday’s early kick off. Juan Mata opened the scoring and his overall performance earned him many plaudits. 

Mata was influential in helping United control the game for most of the 90 minutes. His cool finish helped United turn that pressure into a goal just after half time, although United conceded a 90th minute equaliser after the Spaniard was subbed off.

Here’s a closer look at the statistics behind Mata’s performance, these help highlight how influential he was, not just during the scoring of the goal. Mata made 36 passes during the game which isn’t a huge amount, but he was successful with 86.1% of his attempted passes. He also attempted 5 crosses and 2 long balls, this shows he was not just attempting short and easy passes. The low amount of passes he made was probably because he was played on the right wing – a position where you are not involved as much in possession.

His defensive game has certainly improved under Mourinho and in big games like this it is important that you defend from the front – this is exactly what Mata did, making 2 interceptions and 3 tackles. Going forward he completed 3 dribbles and attempted 3 shots with 2 of them on target and 1 crucially a goal.

Here’s a sample of how Twitter has reacted to Mata’s performance on Saturday afternoon. 

So is he better than Ozil? As an Arsenal fan I think it would be a bit biased for me to say one way or the other. What I can say is that aside from his goals, Ozil has not been at his best this season whereas Mata has excelled under Mourinho where many thought he may not play at all. The Spaniard has improved the defensive side of his game and he is capable of notching up goals and assists. This is promising for him, but can he really be considered better than Ozil?

Ultimately although Mata had a decent game yesterday, he needs to improve his goal and assist tally to be considered better than Ozil – as that is a good measurement of an attacking midfielder’s quality. The Spaniard only has 4 goals and 1 assist in 16 games this season and people are saying he has had a great season. In comparison people are suggesting Ozil has been poor this season but he has made 3 assists and scored 7 goals in 15 games for Arsenal. What does that tell you about the two players?

Time For Change: 3 Players That Should Be In The Manchester United Team Every Week

Life at Manchester United has not started ideally for Jose Mourinho. His side currently occupy 8th spot in the Premier League table, seven points off top spot, just ten games into the season. 

United were again frustrated in the Premier League on Saturday, when they came up against an inspired Tom Heaton in a goalless draw that the Red Devils dominated from the start. With United needing to make ground on the leaders, and fast, here are three players that should feature regularly under Mourinho going forward.

1) Michael Carrick

Michael Carrick’s exclusion from the starting eleven at Manchester United in the Premier League is something that puzzles a lot of people. The 35-year-old has enjoyed just 13 miutes of Premier League football this season, and many feel that the former England international should be a regular starter for Jose Mourinho.

Last season, Carrick featured regulary for Louis van Gaal in his time at United, and acted as a pretty effective and strong shield in front of the defensive back line. Carrick played 28 Premier League last season for LVG, totalling at 1976 minutes played over the season.

Carrick managed to win a solid 60% of his aerial deuls over the course of last season, and 88.89% of his take-ons were successful. In addition to this, he made just over two interceptions per game.

Jose Mourinho has preferred the likes of Ander Herrera and Marouanne Fellaini to Carrick in the defensive midfield so far this season but with Ander Herrera facing a spell out suspended, this could be his chance to nail down a regular starting spot.

‘When He Starts, We Win’ Fans Heap Praise Onto Manchester United Midfielder Following Derby Victory

Manchester United edged past local rivals Manchester City in the fourth round of the EFL Cup, courtesy of a Juan Mata goal in the second half. United fans were delighted with the Spaniard’s performance with many calling on Jose Mourinho to start him on a more regular basis in the Premier League. 

The first half was extremely even at Old Trafford, but United started to take control of the game in the second half. Zlatan Ibrahimovic played a nice ball through to Paul Pogba, who hit the post after Willy Caballero saved his shot.

The breakthrough for Manchester United came shortly after. Ibrahimovic was involved again as his square ball was converted into the bottom corner to give the Reds the lead.

The home side had to withstand some late Manchester City pressure, who introduced Sergio Aguero midway through the second half, but Mourinho’s men had more than enough to get over the line and into the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.

Juan Mata marked his return to the starting line-up with the decisive goal in the derby, and impressed many with his performance in the derby. Fans took to social media to heap praise onto the Spaniard, also hailing the performance of Michael Carrick in the midfield.

Juan Mata hasn’t always been Jose Mourinho’s favourite man, just look back at when the two were at Chelsea to see what I mean. However, Mata’s performances have been immense for United this season, and generally when he starts, the Red Devils come away with a positive result, and fans have been calling for Mata to become a regular starter in Jose Mourinho’s starting elevens.

Michael Carrick has also been knocking on the door for an extended run in the team, but has so far been unsuccessful, with Mourinho preferring Ander Herrera alongside Paul Pogba or Marouane Fellaini in defensive midfield.

However, the Portuguese boss went with Herrera and Carrick in the defensive midfield, and after this positive result, Mourinho may explore the option of starting the two together in the midfield on a more regular and consistent basis.

EFL Cup Player Ratings: Manchester United 1-0 Manchester City

These are Fresh Football’s ratings for the EFL Cup tie between Manchester City and Manchester United at Old Trafford:

Manchester United

David De Gea – 5

It’s a 5 for De Gea, purely on the basis that he had absolutely nothing to do all game.

Antonio Valencia – 5

Tactically disciplined, but largely unrefined in attack. Not a great deal got past Valencia, mind

Marcos Rojo – 6

There were a few concerned faces at the prospect of Rojo deputising at centre back, but the Argentine appeared comfortable, particularly in possession.

Daley Blind – 5

Technically comfortable, as we’ve come to expect from Blind, but another who didn’t appear to have much to do with regards to defending.

Luke Shaw – 5

Although the ex-Southampton man linked up fairly nicely with Rashford on the left flank, handling Jesus Navas’ pace proved to be an issue. The distance kept in the second half, however, made the task of containing the Spaniard become far more manageable for Shaw.

Michael Carrick – 6

A super composed performance from the midfield veteran, which once again adds to the case being made for him to start more regularly for Man United.

Ander Herrera – 6

Carrick’s presence freed Herrera of some of his newly-appointed defensive responsibilities of late, which allowed him to press higher up the pitch to great effect.

Juan Mata – 6

Floated in and out of the right flank, which kept the home side’s possession flowing, but also limited the options out wide. Mata, of course, came up with the all important goal too in a 1-0 victory.

Paul Pogba – 5

The Frenchman looked to make something happen every time he got onto the ball, often a little forceful in doing so.

Marcus Rashford – 8

Head and shoulders above everyone on the night, proving to be a menace to young Pablo Maffeo on United’s left wing and causing City plenty of issues on the counter-attack.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 6

It looked as though the former PSG man would be heading for another disappointing display based on his first-half performance, but Ibrahimovic managed to up his game in the second period to create a couple of good chances and assist Mata.

Subs:

Morgan Schneiderlin – N/A

Manchester City

Willy Caballero – 5

Pulled off a good save from a left-footed Pogba shot in the second half, but rare were the occasions when the Argentine shot-stopped was called into action.

Pablo Maffeo – 6

An impressive display from young Maffeo, who was undoubtedly among the best in a City shirt, despite having his hands full with dealing with Rashford.

Vincent Kompany – 5

A standard performance by the Belgian, who was taken off at half-time, presumably with another injury to add to the tally.

Nicolas Otamendi – 3

Far too dedicated to pressing and winning the ball back, which often left massive gaps behind him for Man United to target.

Gael Clichy – 4

Fairly anonymous, particularly in attack, which is disappointing from the ex-Arsenal defender considering the potential licence to do so thanks to Juan Mata roaming inwards.

Fernando – 6

He’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but Fernando appeared fairly solid and much improved on the ball.

Aleix Garcia – 6

Another, alongside Maffeo, to catch the eye in the middle of the park. Garcia looked the likeliest to make something happen.

Jesus Navas – 4

Attacked Shaw well, but at the same time, Navas appeared very predictable once more in his decision making.

Leroy Sané – 3

The winger, operating behind the striker in this encounter, failed to inflict any damage in the final third, meanwhile ghosting through much of the second half before being replaced by Raheem Sterling.

Nolito – 4

Found a couple good passes in attack, but notable involvement came few and far between.

Kelechi Iheanacho – 3

Missed a great opportunity to stun Old Trafford in the early exchanges of the tie, but the Nigerian’s miss would go on to commence a lacklustre performance.

Subs:

Aleksandar Kolarov – 3

Slotted in terribly next to Otamendi in the second half, allowing United to grow in confidence and eventually take the lead.

Raheem Sterling – 4

Replacing Sané, Sterling tried, but ultimately failed to ignite any potential City comeback.

Sergio Agüero – N/A

Player Ratings: Manchester United 4-1 Leicester City – Red Devils Run Riot

These are Fresh Football’s ratings for Manchester United’s home clash versus Leicester City in the Premier League.

Manchester United

David De Gea – 6

Despite a relatively quiet game, De Gea was left stunned by a Demarai Gray strike in the second half. By the same token, the Spaniard pulled off a good save from similar circumstances in the latter stages of the game.

Antonio Valencia – 6

A standard Antonio Valencia, with lots of running, work ethic, as well as a handful of hit and miss crosses. He did, however, struggled to contain Gray in the second half.

Chris Smalling – 7.5

The England international remained casual up against the likes of Jamie Vardy and Islam Slimani, meanwhile opening the scoring for Man United in the first half.

Eric Bailly – 7

Equally as sound as Smalling throughout much of the game, but there was the odd occasion where he found himself stretched in unison with Valencia on the right side of defence. Decent overall.

Daley Blind – 8

The versatile defender was particularly successful in thwarting main man Riyad Mahrez, on top of combining expertly with his teammates thanks to some crisp passing. A big performance.

Paul Pogba – 7.5

A far better showing from the record signing, who was gifted time by the Leicester midfield to manipulate the ball and also went on to score his first goal in United colours.

Ander Herrera – 6.5

Operating deeper, Herrera’s presence allowed the likes of Pogba and Juan Mata greater freedom.

Marcus Rashford – 7

Busy on the flanks, exposing quality hold-up play and a fearless attitude that was again rewarded with a goal.

Juan Mata – 7.5

With Wayne Rooney benched, Mata took initiative and roamed expertly to link up play and cause the Leicester defence all sorts of problems. The Spanish playmaker got onto the scoresheet in the 37th minute.

Jesse Lingard – 6.5

Active in and around the box, tracked back well and added an assist to his name.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 7.5

The Swede left both central defenders trailing his associative play and troubled the Leicester backline with well-timed runs in what was a performance that only lacked a goal.

Subs:

Michael Carrick – N/A

Wayne Rooney – N/A

Leicester City

Ron-Robert Zieler – 3.5

Fairly powerless in all four of the goals, but few, if any, positives surround his day.

Danny Simpson – 3

Left unhappy in his duel versus Marcus Rashford and his marking inside the box from set-piece scenarios.

Robert Huth – 3

Had his work cut out with Ibrahimovic inside the box, whereas his marking and organisation was very disappointing for three of the four goals Leicester conceded.

Wes Morgan – 3.5

Much like Huth, Morgan’s so often the heart and soul of the Foxes’ side with his Herculean defending, but that wasn’t the case today.

Christian Fuchs – 3

Usually so reliable, the Austrian turned in one of his worst performances since joining the current Premier League champions.

Riyad Mahrez – 3.5

Fairly uninspired and hooked off at half-time with the midweek clash versus Porto in mind.

Danny Drinkwater – 3

Outnumbered in the middle of the park, whereas he’s sure to have better days going forward.

Daniel Amartey – 3

In much the same vein, Amartey struggled to cope versus a 3-man midfield.

Marc Albrighton – 3

Simply non-existent.

Islam Slimani – 4

Worked hard to charge Leicester forward, but was often left isolated.

Jamie Vardy – 4

Led on behind Slimani, attempting to place Leicester’s stamp on the game, but lacked support and was subbed off at half-time.

Subs:

Demarai Gray – 6.5

The shining light in a dismal afternoon for the Foxes, offering refuge from Man United’s suffocating domination and providing a quality goal from range for fans to at least smile about.

Andy King – 5.5

Might feel he could have done better in his second-half stint, but his mere presence served to balance the game and limit the damage that had already been done prior to his entrance.

Jeffrey Schlupp – N/A

‘They Were Unreal’ Manchester United Fans React To Trio Materclass vs. Leicester City

Manchester United managed to avoid their third straight defeat at home to Leicester City, but did more than just avoid defeat – they took full advantage of a Leicester first-half capitulation to go into the break four goals to the good.

Chris Smalling opened the scoring for United midway through the first half before further goals were added by Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba before half-time to brush the Premier League Champions aside.

Demarai Gray managed to pull one back for Leicester in the second half with a tremendous strike, leaving David De Gea no chance in the Manchester United goal.

However, this had no serious impact on the game as United enjoyed their second victory of the week following their EFL Cup victory over Northampton. Outstanding performances came from Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata as United ran riot at Old Trafford.

Manchester United fans took to Twitter to react to these amazing performances from their midfielders.

‘NOT A Benchwarmer!’: Twitter Reacts To Juan Mata’s Opening Goal

Manchester United drew first blood in the decisive Champions League battle at Anfield, with Juan Mata putting the Red Devils ahead against Liverpool.

Mata has struggled for first-team football this season but has impressed in recent weeks and his goal against Liverpool led to a variety of responses from Twitter users- most of whom believe he is wasted out of the starting line-up.

Ander Herrera played a great through ball to Mata, who took one great touch and then finished. The game is not over yet- but United are in the driving seat.

‘What’s Going On?’: Liverpool Fans Furious At Linesman

Liverpool were left in a spot of bother yesterday after a 3-0 defeat against arch-rivals Manchester United left them 10th in the table and 18 points off top-spot.

Naturally, the Reds fans found something to complain about but they do have a point- as Juan Mata was offside for United’s second goal, which turned the tide of the game. Robin Van Persie’s slight touch on the cross was missed by the linesman, much to the fury of the Liverpool faithful.

What made matters worse for the Anfield supporters was the fact that Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville completed ignored the fact the Spanish midfielder was offside in his analysis, until it was pointed out to him- and even Van Persie himself admitted he touched the ball, claiming he deserves an assist!