By Alex Stevens
Ryan Giggs has hailed Juan Mata for his football intelligence after his goalscoring display for Manchester United in their 1-1 draw against Arsenal on Saturday.
The Spanish playmaker put United ahead with a brilliant first-time finish as he met Ander Herrera’s cross from the byline to the edge of the penalty box midway through the second half.
But substitute Olivier Giroud secured a point for Arsenal with a late header as he emphatically latched on to a cross from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
United legend Giggs paid tribute to Mata as he assessed the Spaniard in his role as TV pundit in the immediate aftermath of the Old Trafford clash.
“He is a very good player, he is a brilliant professional,” former United assistant manager Giggs told Sky Sports 1’s live coverage. “He has a great football brain and that is not easy to come by.
“The key is to put legs around him. He would want to play number 10.”
Mata was sold by Jose Mourinho to United when he was Chelsea manager in January 2014 but the Spaniard has been a regular under the new manager this season.
The 28-year-old has made 17 appearances in all competitions for United this season, scoring four goals and supplying two assists in all competitions.
Since his switch from Stamford Bridge, the attacking midfielder has scored 33 goals and supplied 22 assists in 125 matches.
In other Manchester United news, these are the player ratings against Arsenal.