Juan Mata was an unexpected choice in Ralf Rangnick’s line-up for Manchester United’s game against Brentford, but the Spaniard performed admirably and silenced Roy Keane as Manchester United won 3-0.
Juan Mata, who scored a hat-trick against Brentford in Manchester United’s 3-0 win on Monday, has hushed Roy Keane.
Mata was an unexpected inclusion in United’s final home game of the season, as Ralf Rangnick gave the Spaniard a rare start, and Keane was less than impressed before kick-off. Given that Mata is set to leave in the summer, it was a fitting send-off for the Premier League legend, who was given one more run out at Old Trafford.
Rangnick’s gesture, however, did not go unnoticed by Keane, who chastised the attitude for treating a Premier League game so casually. But Mata was just one of many United players who shone against Brentford, making Keane eat his words in the process.
Before United’s final home game of the season, Keane questioned Rangnick’s choice to start Mata, criticizing the club’s mentality. On Sky Sports, Keane stated: “I’m astounded. They knew he was leaving the club, so the managers reasoned that as a token of loyalty, he’d grant him a tryout.
“It’s a big difference between coming on for 20 minutes and starting the game. It indicates where the mindset is. I believe they are giving players a warm-up for the wrong reasons.”
Mata, on the other hand, put on a fantastic performance at Old Trafford, and the Spaniard would have earned an assist if Cristiano Ronaldo had held his run by a fraction of a second longer. However, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner did score later in the game, converting from the spot after winning a penalty in the second half.
United had a disappointing season, but they gave the home fans something to cheer about in their final game at Old Trafford, as Bruno Fernandes ended his goal drought and Raphael Varane scored his first goal for the club. Despite winning the match, Keane was unimpressed.
Ronaldo was chosen man of the match by Gary Neville, and Keane used it as fuel to hammer United once again. Keane continued: “That’s not ideal when you’re relying on a 37-year-old.
“Despite Ronaldo’s brilliance, United are overly reliant on attackers. They’re not good enough defensively. Midfield is insufficient. A huge task awaits the incoming manager.”
And, while he questioned Rangnick’s decision to start Mata on the left, he also chastised Marcus Rashford, the other obvious alternative for that position against Brentford. Keane stated: “He appears to be lacking in self-assurance. I go back because I think he’s taken his eye off the ball with all his off-the-field activities.
“He has that experience, but he doesn’t mix it up. Even when he’s playing through the middle, he acts like a child, in my opinion (against Liverpool ). It’s as if he hasn’t learned anything from the game.
“I believe he has lost the tiger’s eye and is attempting to reclaim it. I believe he needs to regain his hunger and make runs like Elanga tonight. Rashford has lost his hunger, which is quite important for a player.”