The Spaniard pulled off an array of spectacular saves during the closing stages of the contest to ensure a safe passage into the semi-finals for Man United.
His double save from Cheikhou Kouyate and Andy Carroll, with the score at 2-1, was especially important. Speaking after the game, Carrick was full of praise for the 25-year-old.
“He’s [De Gea] been unbelievable for us for so long now,” Carrick said.
“We needed him at the end. The goal gave them incentive. We defended well at times but David stepped up.”
The mark of a truly outstanding goalkeeper is to be peripheral in a game for so long, yet on top form when finally called upon. Such was the case with De Gea, who, apart from gathering a few routine shots, had seen no action towards his goal until being called into making a stunning stop on 77 minutes.
And in what was a turbulent final ten minutes, as West Ham manically surged forward for an equaliser, United’s last line of defence held firm, ensuring a place at Wembley and genuine prospects of silverware at the end of a dim season.