Of course, that drama was quickly subdued when United rolled through Leicester City with four first half goals en route to a 4-1 win at Old Trafford.
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Mata had a goal and an assist, leading to several questions for manager Jose Mourinho after the match.
He answered them. That’s not always a given.
From the BBC:
“Wayne Rooney is a big player for me, United and this country. he is my man, I trust him completely. He is happy.”
“We have lost six points in the Premier League. We have four victories which is really important. Today it is about the security and the happiness of the fans, I don’t know when the last time that they had such a scoreline at half time.”
The manager could use both Mata and Rooney, of course, but the captain’s future is worth monitoring at some level. It’s far from “the end” for him at Old Trafford, but he’s going to have to grind for his spot. And that’s how it should be.