Juan Mata: Manchester United team-mate Ander Herrera is 'a genius on and off the pitch'

Spanish midfielder speaks about his friend

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The Independent Football

Juan Mata has hailed his Manchester United team-mate Ander Herrera as 'a genius' following is two goal haul against Aston Villa.

Herrera continued his run in the team with a fine double as Louis van Gaal's men beat Aston Villa 3-1 to continue their march to a top four spot.

Writing on his blog on his website, Mata also hailed Wayne Rooney's "spectacular" goal.

"The team performed at a very high level, we fought from the very first minute to win the game and we were able to score in decisive moments to make things difficult for Aston Villa," he wrote.

"We tried to use both wings and circulate the ball fast, and actually that’s how we scored. Three great goals I’d say. Wayne’s goal was spectacular, really nice to watch; not many players can score a goal like that."

Mata then spoke about his fellow Spaniard.

"I think this is the first time he scores twice in a game and I’m very happy for him! The truth is he deserves it. He is a genius on and off the pitch and I know how happy he was after the game."

Manchester United next host Manchester City in a massive derby at Old Trafford - Mata is wary of the threat City pose.

Wayne Rooney scored a fantastic goal in the win

"The team is improving, this is our fifth consecutive win in the Premiership and we want to keep this streak. Winning the derby against City the next Sunday could be very important for the battle in the top four.

"A derby is always special and we must be careful with City’s attacking players, because they can win the game in an isolated play."