JUAN MATA was the subject of online taunts from his own fans on Tuesday night after appearing to dive to win Manchester United a penalty.
A tight 1-0 victory over Kristiansund kept the Red Devils’ 100 percent record in pre-season in tact.
However there were plenty of United supporters dismayed at the nature of their victory.
Paul Pogba slotted Mata through with a delicate through ball before he rounded the goalkeeper and tumbled to the floor – with replays suggesting contact was minimal at best.
Many felt that it was a sign of things to come that they had to rely on a soft penalty to edge the Norwegian minnows.
Twitter user Isaac said: “Game ends 1-0 to Manchester United after Mata wins and scores in stoppage time. Hate seeing our players dive, even in a friendly. Pathetic.”
Another, Zander, added: “Disgraceful dive from Mata. So, so unnecessary especially in a friendly.”
And United fan Martin wrote : “Jeez what a shameless dive by Mata.”
While Arpan joked: “It took Mata to dive in the 92nd minute vs some third choice goalkeeper of a club that doesn’t have a crest when googled for us to win a game. Hahaha.”
Former Manchester City midfielder Trevor Sinclair took no prisoners in his summation of the match.
He wrote: “Wow diving to win a last min pen in a friendly! Pre season but that was a tough watch.”
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And yet there were still United fans ready to defend Mata, even if it was impossible to avoid admitting the decision was soft.
Twitter user Tom came back to Sinclair with: “Was it a dive? No, Did mata make a meal of it? Yes, But if contact is made you are in every right to go down, Stop moaning @trevor8sinclair lol.”
Next up for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side is a friendly against AC Milan before Chelsea come to Old Trafford for the start of the Premier League season in 12 days’ times.