David Moyes has come in praise of midfielder Juan Mata, who scored his first goal for Manchester United in the 4-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday. This was a major relief for the Spaniard, who came to Old Trafford in a £ 37.1 million deal. He is the club’s record signing at the moment, but so far, he has contributed only a couple of assists. Many have criticised Moyes playing Mata out of position on the wings. He was at his best for Chelsea in a more central role. However, the absence of Robin van Persie due to injury has made Mata return to a central position against Aston Villa.

Most of the time, he was utilised in a free role against Villa. He created havoc by creating and scoring opportunities. The game also marked the first goal for United. After the match, Moyes said that the 25-year-old deserved this goal for the performances he has put in since coming to United. Mata has been one of the best players in the Premier league over the last couple of years, but he found himself on the fringes of the first-team at Chelsea after the arrival of José Mourinho. He was allowed to leave for United in the January transfer window.

“He’s deserved it. His play has been very good. He’s made a difference to the team, he’s helped the team. Goals were one of the reasons we bought him. He’s always scored goals, he’s got a very good goalscoring record. I think he was probably feeling it a little bit – he missed a chance in midweek, missed two good chances against West Ham – so I think there have been signs, the opportunities have been coming for him to score goals,” said Moyes, whose own pressure has been lifted because of this win.