David de Gea’s rapid fall from grace has led to questions whether Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should drop the faltering goalkeeper.
De Gea has been at fault for a number of goals United have conceded recently, the latest coming in the 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.
Take a look at some moments the Spaniard would probably rather forget.
Manchester United vs Arsenal (10 March 2019)
1-0 #AFC Xhaka finishes from distance, ball swerved by error from De Gea who misjudges flight.
— Mark Mann-Bryans (@MarkyMBryans) March 10, 2019
De Gea had allowed Yan Valery’s thunderbolt to beat him at his near post a week earlier, although the credit was given more to the Southampton fullback’s astonishing effort. However, perhaps the root of his recent woes can be traced back to the Emirates Stadium, where a wicked swerve saw De Gea wrong-footed by Granit Xhaka’s speculative long-range effort in the 12th minute. A 2-0 defeat was Solskjaer’s first Premier League loss as United manager, and not a lot has gone right for the Norwegian, nor his No 1 since then.
Manchester United vs West Ham United (13 April 2019)
It was a disjointed performance from United as a whole as they laboured past West Ham, who were given a route back into the match by De Gea. His sloppy distribution led to Manuel Lanzini lifting a cross that Felipe Anderson squeezed home in the 49th minute. De Gea might even have rued not saving Anderson’s effort after getting a hand to the ball. It should be noted that the 28-year-old made an excellent clawing save to deny substitute Michail Antonio’s header shortly before Paul Pogba’s second penalty of the game gave United a scarcely deserved 2-1 win.
Manchester United vs Barcelona (16 April 2019)
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 16, 2019
If the aforementioned two errors were minor, this was the moment when alarm bells first started ringing. There was nothing De Gea could do about Lionel Messi’s trademark finish in the 16th minute, but United’s hopes of a Champions League comeback in this quarter-final second leg were doomed moments later. Messi’s tame shot on his weaker right foot somehow squirmed under the United goalkeeper, much to the delight of the majority in the Nou Camp crowd. Barcelona went on to record a 3-0 win – 4-0 on aggregate – to march on in Europe.
Manchester United vs Manchester City (April 2019)
Superb from Sterling, terrific from Sane, poor from De Gea.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 24, 2019
After United’s thumping 4-0 loss at Everton three days earlier – when De Gea arguably could have done more to stop long-range shots from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lucas Digne – he was back under the microscope after a poor showing against his side’s city rivals. De Gea was beaten at his near post by Bernardo Silva in the 54th minute, but worse was to follow after the hour mark. The ball was spread to Leroy Sane on the left wing and the German’s shot crept in as De Gea, attempting to save with his legs, was beaten for a second time at his near post and City went on to win 2-0.
Manchester United vs Chelsea (28 April 2019)
3 – David de Gea has made three errors leading to goals in his last four games in all competitions for Manchester United – as many as in his previous 123 matches combined for the Red Devils. Sloppy. #MUNCHE pic.twitter.com/Tbq59cYSU7
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 28, 2019
United seemed in better spirits on Sunday and were a step ahead of Chelsea thanks to Juan Mata’s opener shortly before the interval. However, De Gea could only parry a long-range effort from Antonio Rudiger into the path of Marcos Alonso, who stole in to score. The point means United’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League are out of their hands, but De Gea atoned for his earlier mistake with an excellent save to deny Gonzalo Higuain at the death. Solskjaer, for his part, is standing by his man as he said: ‘There’s no chance any of us will point fingers because he’s saved us so many times.’
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