Man U keeper sticks it to Spurs
LONDON — There were too many saves for Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea to even remember.
Everyone else was certainly counting: Eleven. The most by any goalkeeper in an English Premier League match this season. And they were all in the second half to thwart a Tottenham comeback.
The Spaniard’s virtuoso goal keeping protected a 1-0 victory Sunday after Marcus Rashford’s first-half strike, giving United a sixth successive victory in all competitions since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho.
“I said to David at halftime, ‘You might have to make a save here, you have to keep your concentration,’ ” Solskjaer said. “He didn’t have to keep his concentration because he was never allowed to relax. He is a fantastic goalkeeper. I think he’s the best in the world.”
Few would dispute that on Sunday as de Gea was masterful with his hands and feet — particularly frustrating efforts by Harry Kane and Dele Alli to equalize.
“I don’t even remember some of them,” de Gea said, when asked for his favourite save.
Rashford helped out his teammate.
“The near-post save from the corner was the best one,” the striker said, alongside de Gea.
That was in the 70th minute when Christian Eriksen’s corner was turned in at the near post by Toby Alderweireld and de Gea’s instinctive reaction saw the ball cleared with his left foot.
“De Gea was unbelievable and all credit to him,” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “We weren’t clinical. And sometimes with less opportunities you score, but there’s no complaints.”
The only goal came in the 44th minute at Wembley Stadium after Tottenham defender Kieran Trippier gave the ball away. Paul Pogba sent a long, high diagonal pass to Rashford, who controlled the ball with one touch and then sent it low beyond goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
By passing his first significant test, Solskjaer strengthened his bid to keep the manager’s job. In particular he got the better of Pochettino, who has been considered the favourite as Mourinho’s permanent successor.
Although still third in the standings, Tottenham has lost back-toback league home games and topscorer Harry Kane limped off at the end. United is yet to rise from sixth under Solskjaer but is now only behind Arsenal on goal difference and six points adrift of Chelsea in the fourth and final Champions League place.
Elsewhere, Kurt Zouma scored his first Everton goal in a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth, giving the Merseyside club only its second win in nine league matches. Zouma, on loan from Chelsea, headed in from Lucas Digne’s cross in the 61st minute.
Everton is 10th, three points ahead of Bournemouth, which has lost nine of its last 12 league games.
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea gets his foot out to stop a shot by Tottenham’s Harry Kane, right, during the English Premier League soccer match at Wembley stadium in London on Sunday.