De Gea’s contribution was pivotal in securing all three points at St Mary’s.
With the score at 2-1, the Spaniard somehow managed to claw Jose Fonte’s goal-bound header away with a strong left hand.
Van Gaal praised De Gea, who signed a new contract at Old Trafford earlier this month having failed to secure a transfer to Real Madrid, following the match.
“He is the goalkeeper to do that,” van Gaal said.
“It was fantastic, therefore we are very happy he shall stay with us. That’s why we were very difficult in the transfer period for Real Madrid. It is not for nothing.”
Keeping De Gea may have been down to late paperwork rather than any kind of resolve from United, despite van Gaal’s comments, but supporters will not care one jot how the club managed to keep him as long as he continues to put in superb displays. The keeper may well be the difference in a Premier League title challenge this term.