• Premier League

Moyes: Mata has made us better

ESPN staff
April 5, 2014
David Moyes is sweating on the fitness of Wayne Rooney and will make the latest decision he can for the return leg at Bayern Munich © PA Photos

David Moyes hailed January signing Juan Mata after watching him inspire Manchester United to victory at Newcastle.

Mata, a club-record £37.1 million signing from Chelsea, scored twice and set up Adnan Janujaz for his late strike as United cruised to a 4-0 Premier League win at St James' Park.

Hernandez the answer?

Javier Hernandez scored United's third © PA Photos
  • With Wayne Rooney facing a race to be fit for Manchester United's Champions League quarter-final second leg at Bayern Munich, David Moyes could call on Javier Hernandez should his star striker not recover from a toe injury.
  • Hernandez has scored in successive Premier League games for United with his latest strike coming against Newcastle on Saturday.
  • With Robin van Persie sidelined and the prospect of Rooney missing out in Munich, Moyes was quick to praise the Mexican's contribution.
  • "He is a player we value a lot and he makes great contributions to the team, whether that is coming off the bench or starting," Moyes said. "He is a talented footballer and his stats are up there with the best of them."

Moyes said: "I think Juan Mata has played really well and I think he has made us better. He hasn't had the goals in the earlier games, but I really thought he played fine in the games.

"Recently he has [also] started the get the goals and, more importantly, assists as well. Over the last few seasons in the Premier League, Juan Mata is one of the best assist-makers and he has always got himself a good tally of goals.

"We needed that and he is coming up with the goods now."

Moyes made wholesale changes for the trip to Tyneside with only three of the men who started against Bayern Munich in midweek - Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia and Marouane Fellaini - retained with one eye on Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final return leg.

One player who failed to start in Newcastle and remains doubtful for the second leg in Munich is striker Wayne Rooney, who injured a toe during the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last Tuesday.

However, Moyes is still hoping for good news on Rooney's condition.

He said: "I have not heard today from the medical team back at Carrington, but we are hoping it will be making progress. He's a really important player for us and we will give him every opportunity to be right with his toe."

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