De Gea’s 11 saves help United beat Tot­ten­ham

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - Sports - ROB HAR­RIS

LON­DON — There were too many saves for Manch­ester United goal­keeper David de Gea to even re­mem­ber.

Ev­ery­one else was count­ing: Eleven. The most by any goal­keeper in a Premier League soc­cer match this sea­son. And they were all in the sec­ond half to thwart a Tot­ten­ham come­back.

The Spaniard’s vir­tu­oso goal­keep­ing per­for­mance pro­tected a 1-0 vic­tory in the Premier League Sun­day, after Mar­cus Rash­ford’s first-half strike gave United its sixth suc­ces­sive win 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.”

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.”

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.

Al­though still third in the stand­ings, Tot­ten­ham has now lost back-to-back league home games and top-scorer Harry

Kane limped off at the end.

United is yet to rise from sixth un­der Sol­sk­jaer, but the record 20-time English cham­pion is now only be­hind Arse­nal on goal dif­fer­ence, and six points adrift of Chelsea in the fourth and fi­nal Cham­pi­ons League place.


David de Gea was mas­ter­ful with his hands and feet — par­tic­u­larly frus­trat­ing a late ef­fort by Tot­ten­ham’s Harry Kane, right, on Sun­day.

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