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Juan Mata's Goal Against Brighton Was Pure 'Oleball'

Juan Mata's Goal Against Brighton Was Pure 'Oleball'

Manchester United's second goal vs Brighton involved some superb build-play at the AMEX Stadium.

After Scott McTominay put the visitors in front in their second game of the week against the same opposition, Carabao Cup regular Juan Mata and Paul Pogba added gloss on the win in the second half.

And Mata's was the result of a free-flowing team move that he was heavily involved in.

The former Chelsea man was instrumental in conducting the play and after a sublime backheel flick from new signing Donny van de Beek, Mata checked inside and finished the 12-pass move with his weaker right foot.

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Now 32, Mata gets most of his minutes in the League Cup and was brilliant as United made it three wins from three in the past week.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was full of praise for his performance, citing Mata as the man who got United playing.

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"A great performance by Juan Mata. He was the one who got on the ball and calmed us down," Solskjaer told Sky Sports post-match, as per BBC Sport.

"He was composed. He more or less creates the first goal himself. I am never surprised when he plays like this.

"He has been around the block and knows football."

The Norwegian also hinted at a potential change of position for £40 million Van de Beek, who frequently moved out to the left flank.

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"He's got very high footballing intelligence and tactically he's gone through the Ajax system," he said, via the Manchester Evening News.

"Dutch football is tactical - he knows football, he's got his head screwed on.

"He's a different type of left-sided player compared to Dan James and Marcus Rashford, but coming inside and finding good pockets, why not?"

Topics: Juan Mata, Football News, Carabao Cup, Football, Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Brighton

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.