Solskjaer hails de Gea after outstanding midweek display

Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed the headlines when Manchester United came back to beat Atalanta 3-2 on Wednesday night.

But David de Gea’s heroics did not go unnoticed by visiting boss Gian Piero Gasperini.

And speaking ahead of United’s clash with Liverpool, Solskjaer was asked how good de Gea has been this season at his pre-match press conference.

De Gea produced a vital double save with United 2-1 up on Wednesday, at a time when a third Atalanta goal would probably have sealed the game.

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“David is up there,” responded when asked where de Gea ranks among the world’s best goalkeepers.

“I’ve seen the mindset, how focused and determined David has been since he’s come back in early.

“He has got his tail up again and he’s a joy to work with. Goalkeepers like that sometimes dig out saves to win you big games.

“He did against Villarreal, he did against Atalanta and for all the goals we’ve scored, he is playing really, really well.”

Solskjaer praised de Gea last month, saying that the Spaniard has smashed some of his personal bests in fitness training.

The Spaniard has returned this season with a renewed focus and quelled the discussion over who should be United’s number one goalkeeper.

If he keeps playing this way, that conversation will not rear up again.

United may need another big performance from de Gea against Liverpool, with the likes of Mo Salah in fine form, but the Spaniard can be trusted to deliver at the moment.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.