Manchester United attacker

The Spain international has not enjoyed regular game time in recent years, but has often impressed when given the opportunity.

Mata was on the score sheet when Man United came back from two goals down to defeat Newcastle United 3-2, in what was a dramatic game.

The 30-year-old curled in a sweet free-kick from the right side of the pitch to spark the Red Devils’ comeback in that game.

That strike was actually Mata’s eighth goal from a direct free-kick in the Premier League since he made his debut for Chelsea seven years ago.


In fact, since 2011, no other player has scored more goals from direct free-kicks than the Manchester United attacker.

However, Mata is still way short of the Premier League record for most goals scored from free-kicks, which is currently held by Man United legend David Beckham.

Beckham has 18 Premier League goals from free-kicks and is followed by Thierry Henry with 12, Gianfranco Zola also with 12, whiles Laurent Robert, Sebastian Larsson and Cristiano Ronaldo all have 11 free-kick goals apiece.

Mata may yet get closer to that record, but it will depend on how long he continues to play at Old Trafford and the opportunities afforded him on the pitch.


Blow is the Premier League’s all-time top-scorers list from direct free-kicks

David Beckham — 18

Thierry Henry — 12

Gianfranco Zola — 12

Laurent Robert — 11

Cristiano Ronaldo — 11

Seb Larsson — 11

Ian Harte — 10

Morten Gamst Pedersen — 10

Frank Lampard — 9

Nolberto Solano — 9

Jamie Redknapp — 9

Juan Mata — 8