Mata hails one ‘very clever’ Man Utd man after Brighton win

Juan Mata has hailed Man Utd team-mate Donny van de Beek “very clever player” after the Red Devils beat Brighton 3-0 in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

The visitors ran out 3-0 winners as the 32-year-old Mata laid on Scott McTominay’s header before tucking away his 50th goal for the club, with Paul Pogba’s deflected free-kick wrapping up the victory for Man Utd.

There was nowhere near the drama of United’s last-gasp Premier League win here at the Amex Stadium four days ago, with a combined 19 changes across both sides.

And Mata was impressed by what he saw from the Red Devils’ only new signing of the summer, Van de Beek, with the Dutchman suiting the Spaniard’s style.

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“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 and spaces.

“He understands football in a way that I like, which is playing one-twos, passing and moving, and the goal was like that.”

On Man Utd’s performance at the Amex, Mata added: “They have a great manager who tries to play attractive football. They also change the system in the game, so you have to be alert. Today I think we played really good.

“We created chances in the second half, we had even more chances to kill the game. So we’re happy today.

“We want to lift trophies for our fans. We want to do it again. We try to win every game. This is different this year with the early stage.

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“I feel good physically and mentally and have a passion for the game. I have a lot of football left in my legs and my mind.”

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