Juan Mata was instrumental in Manchester United’s 3-0 win against Stoke on Tuesday night, as the Spaniard pulled the strings superbly, as his side played with an attacking intent they had not shown at any other stage of the season.
Deployed in his favourite number 10 role, the former Chelsea man, who scored against Derby a few days earlier, was mightily impressive alongside Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial. Louis Van Gaal has suggested Mata will continue to be selected in his favourite position as long as he continues to control games the way he did against the Potters, adding Mata had only himself to blame for being deployed in a different role.
Louis Van Gaal has rubbished Wayne Rooney’s suggestions that Manchester United have rediscovered their attacking instinct because they’ve been allowed to play with more freedom by their manager.
United have scored six goals in their last two games in all competitions and their performance against Stoke on Tuesday night, arguably the best attacking display they’ve produced under Van Gaal, prompted Rooney to claim a different approach was the reason behind United’s new-found scoring form.
Attacking football made a rare appearance at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, as Manchester United swept aside Stoke City, scoring three goals at home for the second consecutive game but only for the first time at home since they beat Sunderland by the same scoreline in September.
United carried on where they had left off at Derby, starting the game on the front foot and never allowed Stoke to settle, inspired by some wonderful individual performances from Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney, who both got on the scoresheet, and Juan Mata.
Here’s five things we’ve learnt from last night.