Mata hopes Manchester United can use Norwich win as benchmark to build momentum

Juan Mata hopes Manchester United can now start to build some winning momentum after securing their first victory of 2020 at the fourth atttempt.

Mata created two goals as United put behind them the misery of defeats to Arsenal and Manchester City in the new year, as well as a dour draw with Wolves, to thrash Norwich 4-0 in the Premier League.

Marcus Rashford scored twice on his 200th United appearance before further efforts from Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood in a one-sided encounter at Old Trafford.

“It was a good performance and a performance that we needed,” said Mata, who crossed for Rashford’s volleyed opener and a Martial header.

“It is a performance we can look at and see how we can play, and make sure we play like that on a more consistent basis.

“It is only one game, it is only three points, but the feeling was very good. What we have to try to do is bring that feeling for the next game against Wolves and in the Premier League against Liverpool at Anfield, which is a big one.

“We have to keep going. Days like this make you happy and that is what we have to do.”

United were beaten 2-0 at Arsenal on New Year’s Day and comprehensively outplayed by City in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final last Tuesday. Between those games came the goalless clash with Wolves in the FA Cup which has led to a replay this coming Wednesday.

Those frustrations, however, were not in evidence against Norwich. The relegation-threatened Canaries rarely troubled United, who dominated from the outset and never looked like relinquishing control after Rahsford struck in the 27th minute.

Mata told MUTV: “It was one of those days I enjoyed being on the pitch and we all did.

“I think the fans will be happy. That is important for us because, we have to be honest, we have given them some disappointments this season that they don’t deserve.”

Bottom side Norwich have won just one of their last 17 games and that came in November. Cut adrift, their hopes of survival are receding.

Defender Christoph Zimmerman said: “That was obviously not the game we wanted to play. Over more or less the whole 90 minutes United were the protagonists and we were just chasing shadows.

Christoph Zimmermann believes Norwich were chasing shadows at Old Trafford
Christoph Zimmermann believes Norwich were chasing shadows at Old Trafford

“It’s obviously frustrating. They played well but we were miles off our best performance. That is the thing we can influence and that is what’s annoying.

“We have just got to learn from it as quickly as possible, and then clear heads for the upcoming tasks.

“It is not a secret that we are in the worst position at the moment. We have been there for the last couple of weeks and the only thing we can do to change it is to start winning games.

“We didn’t manage to do so in the last few weeks but we need to get that done as quickly as possible, hopefully starting next Saturday.”