De Gea’s 11 saves help United beat Tottenham
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.