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David De Gea’s remarkable improvement highlighted by statistic during Watford clash

David De Gea’s remarkable improvement highlighted by statistic during Watford clash

De Gea makes stunning penalty performance

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has certainly become used to criticism over the last few years at Old Trafford, but the Spanish international deserves plenty of plaudits today as the Red Devils take on Watford at Vicarage Road.

In what amounted to a stunning three minutes on their travels south to the capital, the United first-choice shot-stopper pulled off not one, but two saves from the spot against Hornets star Ismaïla Sarr.

De Gea saved Sarr’s first effort but could not stop Kiko Femenía from tucking away the parried effort from 12-yards, but referee Jonathan Moss pulled the spot-kick back to be retaken. Not to be undone, the former Atlético Madrid standout then saved Sarr’s second effort just two minutes later, keeping proceedings level at the time, and avoiding an embarrassing early 1-0 deficit on the road.

The double save from De Gea means he has totalled three such stops this season; the same number that he could muster in his previous 31-attempts to scupper the opposition from the spot. The Spaniard also saved an effort from Mark Noble when the Red Devils defeated West Ham 2-1 at the London Stadium back in mid-September, and it constitutes a remarkable improvement for a keeper who so often was criticized for not stepping up when it mattered in spot-kick duels.

Pressure mounting on Solskjær as Man United trail

Despite David De Gea‘s heroics in the early doors of the first-half, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Manchester United outfit has been second best against a struggling Watford, and is 2-0 down in the latter stages of the first-half at the time of writing.

Seven minutes after Sarr was rebuffed twice from the spot, summer signing Joshua King put the Hornets 1-0 up after fellow summer acquisition Emmanuel Dennis was the provider.

David De Gea’s remarkable improvement highlighted by statistic during Watford clash

WATFORD, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 20: Aaron Wan-Bissaka of Manchester United battles for possession with Joshua King of Watford FC during the Premier League match between Watford and Manchester United at Vicarage Road on November 20, 2021 in Watford, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

And then – finally – Sarr found the back of the net one minute before time added-on thanks to Kiko Femenía, with the Red Devils managing to muster a paltry two shots despite their nearly 62% possession, while Watford has eleven efforts to their credit.

Could this be the end of Ole at the wheel?


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Chelsea FC 13 26 30
2 Manchester City 13 20 29
3 Liverpool FC 13 28 28
4 West Ham United 13 8 23
5 Arsenal FC 13 -2 23
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 0 20
7 Tottenham Hotspur 12 -6 19
8 Manchester United 13 -1 18
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 13 -2 18
10 Leicester City 13 -3 18
11 Crystal Palace 13 0 16
12 Brentford FC 13 0 16
13 Aston Villa 13 -3 16
14 Everton FC 13 -4 15
15 Southampton FC 13 -7 14
16 Watford FC 13 -6 13
17 Leeds United 13 -8 12
18 Burnley FC 12 -6 9
19 Norwich City 13 -20 9
20 Newcastle United 13 -14 6

Premier League 21/22

Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 7
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 7
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 6
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 5
King, Joshua Watford FC 5
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 5
Raphinha Leeds United 5
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 5
James, Reece Chelsea FC 4
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 4
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 4
Toney, Ivan Brentford FC 4
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 4
Benteke, Christian Crystal Palace 4
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 4
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 4
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 4