Manchester United have made a successful return to Champions League football under new management. However, it doesn’t take a genius to realise that they had to thank one man in particular for giving a strings of amazing saves and clearances (on a couple of occasions) to single-handedly win or save matches amidst dogged performances and an injury-hit season. That man is United’s No.1 David de Gea. Here is a trifle attempt to compile 10 of his most difficult and important saves in the 2014/15 season.
This list has been made, taking into consideration only Premier League matches, with only one save from any particular match.
#10- Against Sergio Aguero (Manchester Derby at The Etihad)
This match will always be remembered for Chris Smalling’s defensive naivety as his antics in a high tension Manchester derby made him the villain in the red side of Manchester. However, playing with 10 men due to Smalling’s sending off and a makeshift defense consisting of Antonio Valencia, Paddy McNair, Michael Carrick and Luke Shaw, a 1-0 loss against the defending Champions at their own ground doesn’t tell the whole story.
David de Gea’s heroics were visible from the start of the game when he had thwarted Aguero’s shot from a tight angle towards his near post and then made an amazing save from what looked like the move of the match to deny Jesus Navas a certain goal.
The save that made into the top 10 is, however, the one in which he made himself big in the penalty area. In yet another City move, Fernando raced on to a pass on the left flank and gave a beautiful cross into the box towards a dangerous Aguero who was unmarked. The United goalkeeper was quick to react and rushed towards the striker but upon realising the floated ball is moving away from him, he threw both his arms wide and made himself big against the Argentine striker who slid and hit the ball sweetly, only to see the Spaniard being brave enough to save the shot.
David de Gea’s shot stopping ability was never a doubt from the time he moved to Old Trafford, but his ability todeal with crosses and his physical presence were never up to the Premier League level till last year. This season, as evident from this particular save, he has considerably improved these particular attributes and that’s why this save edged out his save against Hazard against Chelsea or his amazing save against Jesus Navas in this match.