Belfast Telegraph

Focus on David De Gea as Manchester United draw with Huddersfield

The United goalkeeper was beaten by a clinical Isaac Mbenza finish but was otherwise solid and remains popular with the fans.

David De Gea put in an improved display at Huddersfield (Martin Rickett/PA)
David De Gea put in an improved display at Huddersfield (Martin Rickett/PA)

David De Gea has come under close scrutiny in recent weeks after a series of blunders have directly led to goals.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has kept faith with the 28-year-old Spaniard, who retained his starting place in Sunday’s penultimate Premier League game of the season at Huddersfield.

Here, Press Association Sport assesses De Gea’s performance at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Reception

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David De Gea acknowledges the fans as he arrives at the stadium (Anthony Devlin/PA)

United fans showed their full support for De Gea by chanting his name during the interval at Old Trafford in last week’s draw against Chelsea – just minutes after his error had gifted the visitors an equaliser – and he was given a rapturous welcome by the travelling supporters at Sunday’s game. The United faithful need no reminding of the 28-year-old’s four player of the year awards since 2014.

Body language

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De Gea warms up ahead of the game (Anthony Devlin/PA)

De Gea has yet to commit himself to United by signing a new contract offer and has reportedly got until the end of the season to make up his mind. But his recent lapses and speculation over his future do not appear to be affecting him. His demeanour at kick-off and throughout the match was of someone in tune with his team-mates and fully focused on his job.

Saves/handling

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Isaac Mbenza, right, beats De Gea to equalise (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Huddersfield spent long periods without the ball and created few chances, leaving De Gea with very little to do for long periods. When he was first called on in the 39th minute, he made an excellent save with his legs to deny Karlan Grant and pulled off a similar crucial save from the same player in the 89th minute. He was given little chance of keeping out the equaliser from Isaac Mbenza, who fired the ball through his legs.

Concentration

De Gea proved there is nothing wrong with his concentration levels. Having barely touched the ball throughout the first half, the Spain international produced a lightning-quick reaction to flick out one of his long legs and keep out Grant’s shot. Early in the second half he showed no hesitation when sprinting clear of his penalty area to clear the danger and slam the ball into touch.

PA

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