‘A great influence’: Solskjaer praises Man United star after Europa League win

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted by Juan Mata's impact for Manchester United on Monday night

Juan Mata
Juan Mata (Photo: The Sport Review)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Juan Mata for special praise after he helped Manchester United to book their place in the Europa League semi-finals on Monday night.

The Spanish playmaker, who has found his first-team opportunities to be limited this season, came off the bench and made a positive impact for the Red Devils as they overcame FC Copenhagen 1-0 after extra-time.

The 32-year-old only made eight starts in the Premier League this season but he made a telling impact when he came on to replace Mason Greenwood on Monday night.

Mata set up Anthony Martial, who was fouled in the box and allowed Bruno Fernandes to net the eventual winner for the Red Devils from the penalty spot in extra time.

The former Chelsea FC star also made two assists in a man-of-the-match display in the round of 16 clash against LASK last week.

Solskjaer was delighted by Mata’s impact on Monday night and he admits that it’s normal that the Spaniard is disappointed not to have featured more regularly this season.

Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro, Solskjaer said: “You saw when he came on he’s so composed, calm.

“He can pick a pass. He is such a great influence in the dressing room. I can just commend him for his professionalism.

“Of course, he is disappointed he has not played more.”

The Red Devils won the Europa League under Jose Mourinho in 2017.

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