By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Angry Manchester United supporters lay into Juan Mata for “bottling” a tackle before Ebere Onuachu’s winning goal for Midtjylland on Thursday night.
The substitute for the Danish minnows appeared to have lost control of the ball near the United area but won a challenge with the feeble Mata before driving a low shot past Sergio Romero at the 78-minute mark.
It gave Midtjylland, who had not played for two months, a 2-1 victory in the first leg of the last-32 Europa League clash and an unexpected advantage going into next Thursday’s match at Old Trafford.
United supporters were quick to point the finger of blame at Mata in the wake of a defeat that represented yet another low point in Louis van Gaal’s reign.
They took to social media site Twitter to vent their frustration at yet another setback this season.
Looking forward to reading Juan Mata’s blog about him bottling out of that tackle#MUFC
— jim shelley (@jimshelley17) February 18, 2016
Juan mata couldn’t tackle a fish supper
— jason smylie (@bigjakey7) February 18, 2016
Juan Mata’s lost something pic.twitter.com/BkSNrd4Wq6
— Manav Trivedi (@ManavTrivedi) February 18, 2016
Well this is the worst United squad I’ve ever known in my lifetime. Juan Mata you want to have a look at yourself there #shocking
— Dean ODonoghue (@odonoghuedean) February 18, 2016
Van Gaal’s struggling team must now score at least once in the second leg to avoid a second European exit of the season after their pre-Christmas elimination from the Champions League.