Mourinho Identifies Real Star As Rooney Replacement
Sep 30 2016 by Marjorie Miles
Mata played in Wayne Rooney's central midfield position and was ecstatic in the number 10 role as he doubled the lead for United after a fluid passing game with Paul Pogba and Jese Lingard as he finished with a tremendous volley.
However, the team didn't look like they missed their captain as both Rooney's replacement Mata, and stand in captain Smalling, scored in their 4-1 win against Leicester City. The outspoken Portuguese tactician was speaking to journalists after the morale-boosting win over the Foxes after a bad week that saw them lose three games in a row.
Mourinho's side were spectacular in his absence, scoring four goals in the first-half and nailing the defending champions into the ground. The decision proved to be a correct one as United defeated the reigning Premier League champions Leicester City by a 4-1 scoreline at Old Trafford. The France midfielder headed in United's fourth goal and was influential in much of their buildup play.
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It worked, with United's front players tearing Leicester apart in the first half, including a spell of three goals in five minutes.
"I have a squad and I thought the best option against a quick-breaking side like Leicester was to play with two fast players out wide with Juan Mata in the middle". If he is on the pitch he feels at home. The process starts with playing well in spaces and the last thing you achieve is to play well consistently.
Speaking from his own experience as a player, Wright seemed to suggest he believes Marcus Rashford's emergence could push Rooney further to the fringes too. "We won the game so he is happy". "We don't want any more blips, hopefully we have had our last blip for quite a while now".
"When the team didn't play well he plays not so well, when the team plays better he plays better".