As I Tweeted on Sunday, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea was absolutely incredible in his team’s 2-1 victory over Everton.
It was the kind of goalkeeping performance you only see once ever few years: The variety of saves, many late in the game, combined with the importance of securing all three points at home as Manchester United, a team in transition, struggle to succeed.
As the Vine below illustrates, there was the Spaniard’s fantastic penalty save — De Gea guessed correctly, diving to his right and parrying the shot well away from danger. And then there was the instinctive save late in the game, sprawling to his right again, followed by the last minute wonder-save, to his left, which is drawing most of the plaudits.
Here’s another look at that last one:
The final save, as I also Tweeted, was reminiscent of this classic stop by Fabien Barthez for the Red Devils years ago:
But there was another save that appeared to be routine that also stood out to me because of the agility it took for De Gea to get down quickly to his right and catch the ball just outside his right foot. Always difficult, and he did it perfectly:
As Eric Steele — the goalkeeping coach when Man U bought De Gea — noted on the BBC yesterday, De Gea not only has all the physical tools, but he’s also extremely even-keeled.
All in all, not bad for a 23-year-old — much less one who many pundits and fans said, after he’d made several errors after his debut, wouldn’t be good enough.
Just think where he’ll be in a a decade, when he’s in his prime.