A Closer Look At Juan Mata’s Manchester United Debut

When Juan Mata made the move from Chelsea to Manchester United last week not only did it raise a few eyebrows with those at Chelsea, but it also shocked some neutral supporters too. On the surface he had left a side within touching distance of the top of the Premier League and a club where he had won consecutive Player of the Season trophies, for one that looked to be on the slope after Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure. It happened anyway, and tonight he made his debut against Cardiff at Old Trafford.

The Spaniard looked a little rusty, which is understandable, but he also displayed determination and a strong awareness when in  possession.

He attempted 51 passes, 44 of which were complete, and played two key balls during his time on the pitch. He resembled an overexcited puppy on occasions though and it didn’t help when tracking back – he completed just one of his five attempted tackles and he was picked off by Kevin McNaughton in his only dribble of the game.

He wasn’t afraid of having a dig though, with two shots coming from inside the box, and he also used his sharp movement to hold the attacking unit and let it flow throughout.

Not the most striking of debuts, but it is one that will have please United fans and more importantly sharpened his match fitness for the upcoming games. 

stats via Squawka