United returned to Premier League action on Saturday following the international break hoping for a big reaction after suffering a devastating 6-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham last time out.
Things got off to an auspicious start after just two minutes, however, as Luke Shaw inadvertently directed the ball into his own net to give the Magpies the lead.
United managed to get back level before too long through Harry Maguire’s towering header but the affair remained deadlock until late in the game.
It wasn’t until the introduction of summer signing Van de Beek that United looked as though they would get the decisive goal and it was the Dutchman’s combination with Mata that led to Bruno Fernandes firing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side ahead after a brilliant counter attack move.
Further goals in added time from Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford sealed the win but it was the fine and intelligent play from Mata and Van de Beek that grabbed the headlines. As a result, fans want to see more of the pair on the pitch together going forward, especially alongside Fernandes.
Saturday wasn’t the first time the duo had linked up as Van de Beek had set up Mata to score a brilliant goal in the Carabao Cup victory over Brighton in September. Following that match, the Spaniard explained why he loved playing with the former Ajax man.
“He is a very clever player,” Mata told Sky Sports. “I love playing with him because he finds pocket of space and he understands football in a way that I like, which is playing one-twos, passing and moving and the goal was like that.
“He’s always in the right position, he flicked the ball to me and I could finish with my right foot.”