“We started very well with a goal from Chicharito which put us in control but I think we relaxed a bit and felt too complacent and if you do that against a team like Ajax, what happened to us can happen – you lose the game. I have to be there for moments like [the second-half stop from Siem de Jong’s header], to try and make the save. I was lucky enough to be able to help the team and now we’re in the next round. The manager wasn’t happy but we got through and that’s the important thing. [Athletic Bilbao] are a good team. I’ve got lots of friends there and it’ll be great to go back to Spain – and to win.” – David De Gea.
Trawl through post match reviews of Manchester United’s 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Ajax, and you’ll come across a description of David De Gea’s second half save against the Amsterdammers.
According to Manchester United themselves, the Spaniard “made another vital contribution with a stunning reflex stop to keep out [Siem] de Jong’s close-range header.” Similar analysis was served up by The Sun, who reported “a brilliant 58th-minute David de Gea tip-over from a Siem de Jong header saved them from total embarrassment.”
Stunning. Brilliant. Or should that be straight-forward?
Whilst De Gea has come under unfair scrutiny for much of his debut season at Old Trafford, there is also the sense that when the gangly goalie does anything right his achievements are given slightly too much credit also.
Moreover, it is important to recognise that most of criticism levelled at De Gea surrounds his ability to take crosses as well as command his penalty area. His shot-stopping talents have rarely come into question.
Related link: Highlights of Manchester United 1 – Ajax 2.