Belfast Telegraph

De Gea: Chelsea save was defining moment

David de Gea is hoping his stunning last-gasp save at Chelsea in February will turn out to be the defining moment of Manchester United's season.

Prior to that game at Stamford Bridge, there had been genuine debate as to whether De Gea should even be selected.

"When you look back over a season there are lots of defining moments and key goals," he said. "But, I suppose, from a team point of view, and particularly from a personal point of view, the fact the save was right in the last minute was decisive. It gave me a huge confidence boost as well and that was important."

He had missed the previous league victory over Stoke due to a minor injury, at which stage he was already receiving criticism for his performance in the FA Cup defeat at Liverpool, which even Sir Alex Ferguson has since said was not a good day for the Spain Under-21 star.

However, Ferguson kept faith in his £18million summer arrival from Atletico Madrid and, not for the first time, was rewarded.

Questions may have been asked about how United ended up finding themselves three goals behind against Chelsea but, having hauled themselves level, to then lose anyway could have had a devastating effect on team morale.

Yet lose is almost certainly what would have happened without De Gea, who somehow managed to claw away Juan Mata's injury-time free-kick which was heading into the top corner.

It was a seminal moment for United, who embarked on an eight-match winning run that helped them take maximum advantage of Manchester City's collapse, and also De Gea, who kept his sixth clean sheet in seven games in Sunday's win over Aston Villa.

De Gea added: "Now we are in front and we have to try and stay there because it would be a dream come true to win the league in my first season."

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