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Manchester United drop Juan Mata for Champions League match against CSKA Moscow

Louis van Gaal has dropped Juan Mata from the Manchester United bench, starting Jesse Lingard in his place.

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has dropped Juan Mata for the clash against CSKA in the Champions League.

Jesse Lingard starts in place of the Spaniard - United's best and most consistent player so far this season - after replacing him at half-time during the 3-0 win at Everton. That was the best period Manchester United played all season. There is of course an argument that Mata is being protected given Everton were well beaten by that stage, and that United have to play Manchester City at the weekend.

Marcos Rojo retains his place at left-back, but the most inexplicable and most predictable decision, to keep Wayne Rooney as striker, has indeed been made. Antonio Valencia starts in place of Matteo Darmian at right-back, but otherwise the side is unchanged from the one that played against Everton.