There were more questions about David de Gea’s status as Manchester United’s number one heading into last night’s game than at any point this season.
Key errors in the FA Cup semi-final were seen by many as the final straw for a goalkeeper who has begun to decline over the past couple of seasons.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not willing to quit on the Spaniard yet, and showed his faith in the Spaniard by selecting him at home to West Ham.
De Gea did not let United down against West Ham, turning in a confident and competent performance.
He had a chance to become a hero when he faced a penalty, and sadly could not stop Michail Antonio from scoring.
If really nitpicking De Gea’s performance, his failure to get near the penalty was frustrating. The Spaniard last saved a penalty back in 2016. This woul have been a perfect time to put that right.
Nonetheless we will focus on the positives for De Gea, after what was no doubt a mentally challenging few days for him after Sunday’s disappointing defeat.
He passed the test
De Gea is at a point now where everybody is waiting for him to make a mistake.
United fans are nervous about what should be routine shots, and so we no longer take it for granted that he will save them.
So in some ways we appreciated his performance against West Ham a little more, when some of his attacking teammates did not cover themselves in glory.
De Gea repelled both of West Ham’s shots on target from open play and looked comfortable at set pieces, unlike compatriot Kepa Arrizabalaga, who had a nightmare for Chelsea against the Hammers a few games ago.
He has learned by now that he is just one game away from becoming a liability again, and the pressure is really on against Leicester City on Sunday.
So nobody will get too carried away with just this one competent display, but at the same time, give credit where it is due.
The pundits who savaged him in the media after his performance on Sunday are unlikely to be praising him after this display, even though he merits it.
Here is a look at how United supporters reacted to De Gea’s display…
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