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Premier League

Juan Mata: Arsene Wenger's argument comes back to haunt him as the midfielder fires Manchester United to fourth after 2-1 win at the Emirates - according to Football Manager

Long-running computer game series has simulated the rest of the season

Has Football Manager proved Arsene Wenger correct?

The long-running computer game series has used their match engine to simulate that Juan Mata will strengthen David Moyes' Manchester United in such dramatic fashion that the reigning Premier League champions go on to finish this season in fourth place on 76 points, losing only one of their remaining fixtures - to Manchester City - and qualify for the Champions League.

And most importantly in the Arsenal manager's argument about the Blues' title rivals having to face an improved United team, which Chelsea do not as they have already played them twice - United defeat the Gunners 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium. Other notable results for United with Mata include a 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford, a 1-0 win over Newcastle at St James’ Park and a 1-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park.

Unsurprisingly, Mata becomes an instant success at Old Trafford, scoring seven goals and making five assists in his 15 appearances for the club.

The Spaniard begins his career at United with some fine performances too, and scores in his first two matches for the club, against Stoke and Fulham.

This all may be fictional, but by signing a player who has been directly involved in 45 Premier League goals since he arrived in the English top flight in August 2011, his impact seems not to be sniffed at.

This season's final table according to Football Manager

How Manchester United's record signings have fared in the real world...

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