• Juan Mata scored in Manchester United's 3-0 win over Brighton
  • It was Mata's 50th goal for The Red Devils
  • He joined Man Utd from Chelsea in 2014

Manchester United’s attacking midfielder Juan Mata netted his 50th goal for The Red Devils on Wednesday.

Mata, who joined Manchester United for $53 million from Chelsea, has been associated with the Old Trafford side since 2014. The 32-year-old Mata clinched the milestone when Man Utd took on Brighton League Cup. The other goal-scorers for Man Utd were Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay as the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer-managed side defeated Brighton 3-0 to reach the last-eight of the tournament.

It was Man Utd’s third consecutive victory since their season-opener defeat to Crystal Palace, which was a home Premier League match for The Red Devils. Mata, who scored only three goals in the previous campaign, has already netted two goals in as many matches in the ongoing 2020-21 season. Mata’s first goal came during Man Utd’s 3-0 win over Luton Town in the League Cup last week (Sept. 23).

Solskjaer, who has been under tremendous pressure following Man Utd’s defeat to Crystal Palace at home, heaped praise on Mata during a post-match interview with Sky Sports.

"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,” added Solskjaer, who was content with Man Utd’s second clean sheet of the season.

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata scored against Luton
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata POOL / Catherine Ivill

With the summer transfer window’s deadline day of Oct. 5 nearing, Man Utd’s transfer saga is still underway. Donny van de Beek, who recently moved from Ajax to Man Utd, is The Red Devils' only signing of this summer market so far. He was Man Utd’s only goal-scorer in their 1-3 loss to Crystal Palace in the Premier League last month.

Solskjaer is still hopeful of signing Jadon Sancho, who has been his top target throughout this window.

It has been reported that even though Dortmund have remained adamant about Sancho’s transfer fee of $140 million, Man Utd are expected to secure the deal at a lower price, $122 million: $103 million up-front and $19 million in add-ons.