Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer provided a much-anticipated update on the state of the club’s transfer business, and single out Juan Mata for praise following his superb display versus Brighton.
The Red Devils secured progression to the quarter finals of the EFL Cup with a 3-0 victory at The AMEX.
The win came in a rather more controlled fashion than their league victory at the weekend, with Solskjaer singling out his Spanish playmaker for special praise.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the Norwegian said: “A great performance by Juan Mata. He was the one who got on the ball and calmed us down.
“He was composed. He more or less creates the first goal himself. I am never surprised when he plays like this.
“He has been around the block and knows football. He does his work and is at the back stick to shield the ball from Dan Burn at a corner in the second half.
“We needed the first 20-25 minutes to get our confidence and get on the ball. We have worked on set pieces. You keep a clean sheet and this is important for a back four.”
On Paul Pogba: “We wanted to put him on for 25-30 minutes for a work-out. The game was there for him. Paul and Marcus (Rashford) found some good positions.”
Regarding the subject of upcoming Man Utd transfers, Solskjaer gave little away, stating: “I can’t give you any news. We are working with what we have got. We have a big squad. We changed 10 players from Saturday. If there is any update, we will let you know.
“I don’t comment on other teams’ players. I can’t concern myself with other clubs. I know the club is working well and hard to have a strong squad as possible. Sometimes speculation is there and we can’t control that.”
Mata far from finished
Mata was the star of the show, and after reflecting on the victory, insisted he still has many years left at the top level.
“Another good night, I think we played good today,” said Mata.
“We knew they would play from the back. They try to play attractive football. They changed the system in the game, so you have to be alert. But we created chances and had more to kill the game.”
“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.”
Regarding the goal which marked his 50th for the club, he added: “Very clever assist from Donny. He is a very clever player. He finds pockets of space and understands football in the way I like.”