Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick was pleased with the performance of goalkeeper David de Gea during the 1-1 Premier League draw at Newcastle United last night.
The Red Devils returned to competitive action after a 16-day gap. They were widely touted to pick up maximum points against the Magpies, who had lost the last three games, conceding 11 goals.
However, that was not the case. The Magpies made a quick start off the blocks at St James’ Park. Allan Saint-Maximin opened the scoring with a superb curling effort that left De Gea rooted to his spot.
Shortly after the break, Saint-Maximin should have doubled the lead, but De Gea came to United’s rescue (for the umpteenth time this season) with a superb reflex save from close range.
Edinson Cavani eventually levelled the scores in the 71st minute. The Uruguayan’s initial effort was blocked by the defence, but he luckily got a rebound to tap home into the far post.
Either side of the equaliser, Cavani had more chances to score but failed to capitalise.
United were eventually fortunate to share the spoils as the Magpies were denied a late winner.
Jacob Murphy’s effort rattled the right post. From the rebound, Miguel Almiron produced a stunning curler towards the top left corner, but De Gea denied him the winner at full stretch.
Following the game, Rangnick said that it was a ‘good thing’ that United came back with a point and described De Gea as ‘one of the best’ goalkeepers in the world after another stand-out display.
He told Manutd.com: “I think we were better in some games so far in the past, but it’s also about getting results and again the good thing today was we came back and we got the equaliser.
“In the end it could have been 2-2 – again there were two or three fantastic saves from David De Gea, similar to the game at Norwich, but we also had our chances to score a second goal.
“For sure, David is one of the best goalkeepers in the world – he showed that at Norwich and in the game today.”
De Gea has been in excellent form for the Red Devils, and he has single-handedly won several points for the club during the first half of the campaign.
He was hugely influential in the 1-0 win at Norwich City earlier this month, and had another excellent showing yesterday with seven saves to earn a valuable point.
The £16.2 million-rated star has not been offered much protection from his backline this term. The situation has not improved under Rangnick with poor positioning.
Rangnick has the credentials and experience to improve the defensive performances, but with the games coming thick and fast, the players need to take more responsibility.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.
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