Manchester United’s Mata ‘still hungry’ after making case for more time


Juan Mata would like the world to know he still wants to compete, and on Saturday he showed that class is permanent.

The Manchester United midfielder picked two assists in his first league start since Dec. 1, the first a sensational set-up of Marcus Rashford.

“It is frustrating when I don’t play,” Mata said after the 4-0 defeat of Norwich City. “I am still hungry to help my team with goals and assists. Like every player, when I don’t play I am not happy. But I have to always be available for the team.”

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Mata, 31, has been an unused sub for nine PL matches this season, and played less than 10 minutes in five others. His two assists, however, were his first notches on the score sheet in Premier League play.

The Spaniard’s been around the block, and says Saturday’s show highlights the Top Four capabilities of United. From The Manchester Evening News:

“It is a good example of how good we can play. We need to play like this on a consistent basis if we want to get a Champions League spot.”

As for Mata’s manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was please with this performance. United rebounded from a poor performance in the first leg of the League Cup semifinal versus rivals Man City.

“Very happy,” he said. “We started on the front foot. When you can walk off, and I am sure the opposition are talking about Man Utd as a very hard working team, that is what I want from my team.”