Manchester United star Juan Mata marked his 150th appearance in a Red shirt with style as the Spaniard scored a landmark 50th goal in the Premier League.
Scoring in United’s 4-1 win over Fulham, Mata took his goal tally to 50 goals in his seven years in England. Not to mention the fact the Spaniard managed to cement himself once again as United’s chief playmaker as the former Valencia man notched his 50th assist.
Becoming just one of five Spanish players to reach the elusive 50-goal tally, Mata has made himself a fan favourite at Old Trafford.
Being limited to just 16 appearances this campaign, Mata has been productive when called upon scoring four with a further two assists.
Often shipped out on the wing, instead of his natural position in midfield the 5ft 7′ dynamo has been a constant in a turbulent time at Old Trafford scoring 32 goals in Red.
Since joining from rivals Chelsea in January 2014, the Real Madrid academy graduate has seen three managers come and go at Old Trafford in the form of David Moyes, interim boss Ryan Giggs and Louis Van Gall before reuniting with former boss Jose Mourinho.
After winning back-to-back Player of the Year awards in West London with Chelsea his departure from the Blues came as a huge shock. Manchester United capitalised on bringing in the discarded Spaniard for a then club-record fee of £37.8 million in January 2014.
Despite his individual landmark, a reflective Mata put the focus on the team and the fans as Mourinho’s men put Fulham to the sword, as reported by the Daily Mail:
We need these performances more often, the fans today enjoyed it – that is the Manchester United that we want to see.
Manchester United looked comfortable against the West London side in what is their seventh win this season. A 13th-minute strike from Ashley Young opened the scoring.
It was the start that we needed. We know that we have to start better because it is not right to always be chasing the game. But I thought we played with more intensity. Every game is really, really important. We cannot afford to lose a lot of points from now until the end of the season. We have a difficult task.
Mata and co will be hoping to continue their form as the Spaniard takes on his former club Valencia in the Champions League before Mourinho’s men take on title-chasers Liverpool in a hotly contested derby.