What a difference a week makes. Travelling to Wembley on Saturday, I could not have predicted how Manchester United were going to perform. Inconsistency has blighted our season, so the question on everyone's mind was which United would turn up? The team who collapsed at Spurs, or the side who thrashed Everton at Goodison Park. To my surprise it was neither. Instead, it was a familiar looking United who won at Wembley on Saturday afternoon. A side that kept on fighting, a team that would not die, a team Sir Alex Ferguson would have been proud of.
One of the criticisms of Manchester United this season has been a lack of leadership. But in this game Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini all gave commanding performances in the centre of the park. In the first half United controlled the tempo of the game and probably should have scored more than one goal. After the interval we began to wobble and all the hard work was undone as Everton unleashed attack after attack.
In the stands I started to contemplate, surely we won't throw this one away? Penalty! Timothy Fosu-Mensah slides into a challenge on Ross Barkley, it's debatable, but the ref blows the whistle and points to the spot. Up steps Romelu Lukaku, he's odds on to score. And yet David De Gea doesn't flinch, he's a confident presence between the posts, he makes him choose, Lukaku hits it low and hard to De Gea's right. Dave saves!
Everton equalise through a Chris Smalling own goal, but come the 92nd minute Anthony Martial zips through a tired looking Everton defence to score the winner.
A deserved win
It was not so much the win, but the way United won that thrilled the fans, including me. It was a stylish comeback. But the standout performer and there were lots of standouts, has got to be David De Gea, who saved a crucial penalty just as the tide was turning from red to blue.
With Rooney's foreseeable future in doubt, is it possible to think Spanish Dave could be Manchester United's next captain? Last summer it would have been unthinkable to even suggest this, but thanks to the ElFaxico saga, De Gea stayed at Manchester United, and a year down the line (if his celebration is anything to go by) he's extremely content.
A fan favourite, De Gea is odds on to pick up the Sir Matt Busby player of the year award for a third consecutive season, and in my opinion he is the one man in United's dressing room with enough experience to inspire the other players to do great things. He may not be the outfield player most fans crave, but if we look at the accolades Gianluigi Buffon and Iker Casillas have won over the course of their careers, naming De Gea as captain couldn't do Manchester United any harm now, could it?