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Juan Mata thriving off Manchester United’s attacking pace

Manchester United now have the much-needed pace on their front line and it is something attacking midfielder Juan Mata is thriving off. The Spanish playmaker has everything in his locker to play passes, split the opposition’s defence and more but his pace was something of a problem for the midfield magician, now that is something that is within the squad ahead of the new season, Mata is excited about the goal scoring threat in the forward line.

The former Valencia and Chelsea midfielder scored the winning goal against Sampdoria on Wednesday evening in United’s final pre-season match of the summer, just under a week before the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid in Skopje, Macedonia. The club’s pre-season tour of the summer took them to the United States of America where they beat LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Manchester City, Real Madrid (on penalties) and were beaten by Barcelona. United then flew to Norway where they beat Valerenga and onto Dublin, beating Sampdoria.

Mata, speaking about the positivity within the squad after Jose Mourinho brought in Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic, who made his debut for his new club in the Irish capital, also about the great period of preparation, which will supersede last summer’s pre-season tour, which was not the best, especially after the Manchester derby in Beijing being cancelled because of the state of the pitch. Mata spoke to the official Manchester United website, saying:

“It was a great pre-season. We had a few amazing weeks in the States playing some very good rivals and against Sampdoria, it was difficult to beat this tough Italian team.”

Mata also spoke about Manchester United’s attacking pace this season. The Spanish international spoke about Anthony Martial, who did not have the best first season under Mourinho, but his form seems to have changed and like Wednesday night in Dublin, Martial on his day is a devastating force within United’s attacking line. Martial assisted for Mata’s goal, which was the winner in the 2-1 victory over the Serie A side at the Aviva Stadium, which was a good match for United just under a week before the biggest test of the summer against Real Madrid. Mata said:

“That’s ideal for players like me as we try to look for passes for the quickest players. We all know how good Anthony [Martial] is when one-on-one with a defender, so I just tried to put myself in a good situation to finish. It was an important goal because we won.”

United will now turn their attention towards the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday night in Skopje where Mata is hoping for a change in fortune after United, who last lifted the cup in 1991, lost in both 1999 and 2008 after winning the UEFA Champions League. United will thrive on the big European fixture against the most successful European side in the history of the game. It will get United up to speed in the Champions League, which they will return to in September after a season and a half out of the competition. Mata concluded by saying:

“I’ve been lucky to have played in two [Super Cups] and unlucky to have lost two, so maybe it’ll be third time lucky. Last season was a good season, now we have an opportunity this season to lift more [trophies]. Next week we have the chance to lift another one which is going to be difficult against a team like Real Madrid. Our minds are now focused on that.”

United seem to be on the right path under Jose Mourinho and have made ground on the lack of success by lifting the FA Community Shield, EFL Cup, and the UEFA Europa League. Add that to the FA Community Shield won by David Moyes’ United and the Emirates FA Cup win by Louis van Gaal’s United, the road to success after the long and successful reign of Sir Alex Ferguson seems to be becoming a new dawn for the Old Trafford club. This coming season will be a big one for United and there is a chance that a Premier League title push could well commence, and should.

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