Skip to main content

Rooney reception leaves Mata proud of Manchester United fans

Juan Mata says he felt proud to be part of Manchester United following the reception given to Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The 31-year-old was greeted warmly by the home fans as he played his first game against the club since returning to Everton in July.

Rooney played 82 minutes before being substituted to loud applause, although the match ended in disappointing fashion for England's record goalscorer, as United triumphed 4-0.

Writing in his weekly blog, Mata described the fans' reaction as a moving moment and backed Rooney to achieve success at Goodison Park.

"I want to highlight Wayne Rooney's return to Old Trafford," he said. "He's part of the Manchester United legend and the crowd gave him the ovation that he deserves when he was substituted.

"Seeing that respect from our fans in the stadium to our former captain was really moving. It makes you feel proud of belonging to this club. I think Wayne has still a lot of things to say in football and I wish him the best for the rest of the season."

See more

The win, which came courtesy of goals from Antonio Valencia, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial, moved United level on points and goal difference with Manchester City at the top of the table.

It also preserved their unbeaten record this season under Jose Mourinho but Mata insists the squad are not getting carried away.

"We are happy, for sure, but we keep the euphoria away from the dressing room," he said. 

"Inside, we remain calm, with our feet firmly on the ground. We haven’t won anything yet, this is just the beginning and, with such a busy schedule, there’s no time to slow down and relax."

United begin the defence of the EFL Cup against Burton Albion at Old Trafford on Wednesday.