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Juan Mata proved he is the biggest gentleman in football after ‘dive’ against Stoke City

The Spaniard went over easily in the box but immediately told the ref and the crowd it wasn't a foul

Even Jose Mourinho can’t stop Juan Mata being an absolutely lovely bloke.

Mourinho is a master of the dark arts and is happy to win by any means possible.

Many of the Special One’s teams have been experts in drawing decisions from the referee as they chase a win, but no Mata, no way.


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Mata or Sanchez?

AP:Associated Press
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Mata or Sanchez?

Possibly the nicest man in football proved it once again with his display against Stoke.

Not only did he get up and down the pitch as if he knew the club were about to sign someone in his position, but he showed a great example of sportsmanship too.

United eventually won the game 3-0 thanks to goals from Antonio Valencia, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku as Stoke pretty much gave up towards the end.

The story goes that he could be on his way to the Emirates in exchange for Sanchez

AFP or licensors
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The story goes that he could be on his way to the Emirates in exchange for Sanchez

The win leaves the Red Devils 12 points behind leaders Man City, but after their slip up against Liverpool there is the tiniest sliver of hope that they can catch Pep Guardiola’s runaway freight train.

However, with the score 1-0 last night and the Potters threatening to level things up, Mata showed the kind of attitude that we would like to see in all footballers.

Great link up play between Mata and Valencia saw the Ecuadorian backheel the ball into Mata’s path as he burst into the box.

Bruno Martins Indi came across to defend the chance and looked as if he was going to clumsily challenge the Spaniard.

Easy does it Bruno

Getty - Contributor
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Easy does it Bruno

Perfect technique for a dive in swimming

Getty - Contributor
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Perfect technique for a dive in swimming

Mata took a fall and slid across the turf as the crowd called for a penalty, from where the referee was standing it could well have been given.

Only for Mata to immediately put is hands up and tell the Stoke players it was neither a foul nor should a penalty have been given.

Forgive the cynic in us but there could have been another reason.


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No dive ref

Reuters
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No dive ref

We wonder what Mourinho made of this

Getty - Contributor
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We wonder what Mourinho made of this

This season new rules mean players can be retrospectively banned for diving or deceiving the referee.

Maybe, once he knew the foul had not been given, he was making sure he’d face no further action from the FA and a possible ban.

We prefer to think Mata is just a great guy.


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