Manchester United welcomed Everton to Old Trafford this weekend, with neither side in inspiring form. Last week, United edged a 2-1 victory over West Ham, and Everton snatched a late point away at Liverpool courtesy of Jagielka’s wonder-strike.Today, the Reds were victorious, thanks to goals from summer signings Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao. In addition to the attacking play being up to scratch today, United had to cling onto their lead and can thank David de Gea for that after an incredible performance. The Spaniard saved Leighton Baines’ penalty, and pulled off two world class saves in the closing 5 minutes of the game. Because of this, the keeper was deservedly granted the Man of the Match award.
Here’s what De Gea had to say about his superb late save after Oviedo’s strike: “It was good. I didn’t see the ball well, only at the last minute. I just put out my hand." The 23-year-old seemed possessed today, and his performance emphasises the excellent goalkeeper United have at their disposal. The United boss also recognised De Gea’s miraculous display and stated: “When you stop a penalty and then in the dying seconds you make 3 saves, you are great.” Despite some criticism recently, it is evident that van Gaal will not be replacing the United number one anytime soon. British transfer record signing Angel Di Maria also commented on his teammate’s performance: “David de Gea deserves the MOTM award, not me. He saved us many times throughout the game, especially at the end.” It is clear to see that the United players know they owe the three points to De Gea, and they are dedicating a spectacular win to the Spaniard.
Louis van Gaal also had this to add about Di Maria: “When you give assists and score goals, what more can you ask of a player?” The £59.7m Argentine seems to be fulfilling his steep price tag and also impressing everyone at the club. He added: “It is a little bit strange that every time our first half is very good. We could have been 3-0 up at half time.” Plus, the boss silenced any injury concerns over Luke Shaw, who was replaced by Tyler Blackett before the end: “He has a dead knee. He could have made it worse so that is why he stepped out.” LvG had few negative comments to share once again about his ever-improving United outfit, and he should be content with his side’s performance this afternoon.
Manchester United are now in the top 4 for the first time since August 2013, and despite some excellent individual performances and a collectively solid defensive display, David de Gea is to thank for this. Radamel Falcao also picked up his first goal for the club, and Di Maria now has an impressive record of three assists and three goals in five games. After a dreary start to the season, it seems as if United are finally gaining some momentum which has been recently unfamiliar with the Old Trafford faithful.