Juan Mata admits he ‘loves’ playing with Van de Beek after sublime assist

Brighton And Hove Albion v Manchester United - Carabao Cup Fourth Round
Donny van de Beek laid on a sublime assist for Juan Mata (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United attacker Juan Mata was full of praise for ‘very clever’ team-mate Donny van de Beek after the midfielder supplied the Spaniard with an exquisite assist in the side’s 3-0 win against Brighton in the Carabao Cup.

Van de Beek has had to bide his time for minutes since joining the club and both of his starts have come in the Carabao Cup.

The 23-year-old impressed in a 3-0 win against Luton last week and he started in a no.10 position against the Seagulls.

United entered the break a goal up after Scott McTominay broke the dealock shortly before half-time but the Red Devils failed to create further chances to add to their lead until Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford emerged from the bench.

With Brighton struggling to contain United’s fresh substitiutes, Van de Beek was afforded more space and he supplied a sublime touch to play in Juan Mata to double the visitors’ lead.

Mata was awarded Man of the Match (Picture: Getty)

The delicacy of the touch, speed of thought and execution are precisely why the Dutchman was in such high demand this summer and Mata admits he loves playing with the former Ajax star.

‘It was a very clever assist, he’s a very clever player,’ Mata told Sky Sports.

‘I love playing with him because he finds pockets of spaces and he understands football in the way that I like by playing one-twos, by passing and moving and the goal was like that.

‘He’s always in the right position, flicks the ball to me and a good finish with my right’.

It was the second 3-0 win United have managed in the Carabao Cup in the last week and Mata was once again named Man of the Match.

The Spaniard is building an understanding with Van de Beek and the Dutchman repaid Mata’s compliments by revealing how much he enjoys playing with the former Valencia ace.

‘I am really happy I play with players like Juan, he is so creative,’ said Van de Beek.

‘Amazing passes, and he can play one touch which I like. I am happy to play with a legend like Juan’.

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