Ralf Rangnick has explained why he decided to bring Juan Mata on during Manchester United’s defeat to Everton on Saturday.
United had the better of the chances at Goodison Park in the opening 25 minutes with Marcus Rashford twice denied by good saves from Jordan Pickford. But Anthony Gordon’s deflected strike gave the hosts the lead and they managed to hold on for a narrow victory.
United failed to create too many chances after going behind but Rangnick did look to his bench in the hope his side could stage a comeback. Mata, who had not featured in a Premier League game this season before the trip to Everton, replaced Nemanja Matic in a double change which also saw Rashford replaced by Anthony Elanga.
Speaking to BT Sport post-match, Rangnick explained why he decided to bring the 33-year-old on. He explained: “Yeah, we had to do something because we needed a goal, I decided to bring more creativity with him in midfield and more verticality with Anthony Elanga, but they were defending with all their players in the last 35 minutes.
“We didn’t find the right player at the right moment, not always enough players in the box when we played crosses into the box.” Earlier this week the Manchester Evening News revealed that MLS clubs are interested in Mata with his contract set to expire at the end of the campaign.