Manchester United’s 7-0 defeat at Liverpool ended David De Gea’s run of Premier League clean sheets after shutting out Leeds United and Leicester City.
However, Paul Merson was still full of praise for the 32-year-old and was more critical of United’s defending on Sunday, saying they have been riding their luck in recent weeks without getting punished.
Merson wrote in his Sky Sports column that De Gea has been outstanding this season, but also fired a warning to the team’s defence.
He said: “Man Utd have been getting away with it and have been caught. One of United’s best players has been David de Gea. He’s bailing them out.”
De Gea is in good form, but there’s room for improvement
De Gea has made 38 appearances in all competitions this season, conceding 44 goals with 16 clean sheets (10 in 25 league games).
Only Nick Pope (50%), Kepa Arrizabalaga (47.1%) and Aaron Ramsdale (42.3%) average more shut-outs than the Spaniard (40%) too.
Against Leicester, the 32-year-old saved a one-on-one with Jamie Vardy and stopped a close-range header from Kelechi Iheanacho, so he’s at his best right now.
De Gea’s overall save percentage from shots on target faced (66%) has him sitting 16th in the table while the Spaniard has conceded six goals more (35) than his expected league tally (29.7), so there is room for improvement.
Merson is right to warn United of their porous defending, as they’ve conceded more shots per game than eight other league clubs (12.6). United have also kept only two clean sheets in the league since early January.
The Liverpool thrashing should be a wake-up call, as United were opened up far too easily at Anfield. Ten Hag’s side next face Real Betis on Thursday before hosting Southampton on Sunday.
Stats from Transfermarkt and FBref
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