'Maybe someday there will be a substitute for free kicks!' - Mata relishes in stunning strike against Juve

Comments()
The Spaniard scored a beautiful set piece on Wednesday to help kickstart Manchester United's comeback win in Turin

Juan Mata joked about a potential future role as a free-kick specialist after scoring a stunning set piece against Juventus to help guide Manchester United to victory.

The Spaniard joined the fray in the 79th minute of Wednesday's Champions League match with his side down a goal following a spectacular Cristiano Ronaldo strike.

Mata stepped up and scored a stunner of his own in the 86th minute, curling home a marvelous free-kick to tie the match late.

The Red Devils eventually found their winner via another set piece as a free-kick deflected off Alex Sandro and in.

After the match, Mata said he was proud of his team's fight following what turned out to be a vital win for Manchester United.

"Today was important, the 1-1, and after we scored again," Mata told BT Sport. 

"Maybe in the future, there is a substitute where you go, take the free-kick and go back to the bench. You never know.

"I have confidence in my free-kicks at the moment. I train a lot.

"After training I get the ball and try. The goalkeepers help me out too."

The result lifts Manchester United into second place in Group H, two points behind Juventus, who have amassed nine points from four matches.

More importantly, though, it gives the Red Devils a two-point lead over Valencia, who defeated Young Boys on Wednesday in their own Champions League match.

That makes Mata's goal and the subsequent winner vital for the English side, who now appear on a path towards the knockout rounds with a match against Young Boys looming.

"What a nice last five minutes," Mata said. "It is a very good night for us to get three points against Juventus in Italy. It is amazing!

Article continues below

"They have fantastic players and are a top team. We come back to Manchester with three points and that is football!

"The first half was not bad. It was quite even. They had chances but in the second half it was a fantastic goal from Cristiano Ronaldo.

"They had a few clear chances after that to win the game but they didn't and we came back. It is a very big step in the group."

Next article:
U.S. U-20s push aside fearful Honduras to secure Concacaf final players were hoping for
Next article:
Brazil's Tite encouraged by Neymar captaincy
Next article:
U.S. U-20s seal Concacaf final date with Mexico with win over Honduras
Next article:
Dier encourages English youngsters to follow Sancho's lead
Next article:
'They're too scared to go forward' - Eriksen hits out at Ireland following dull draw
Close