Jose Mourinho has explained why be hugged David de Gea following Manchester United’s 2-0 win over West Ham United on Monday, noting that the Spaniard’s save from Michail Antonio changed the mood of the game.
Antonio, with the score still at 0-0, had a fantastic one-on-one opportunity against De Gea but couldn’t get his shot past the 26-year-old.
Mourinho’s side, buoyed by De Gea’s heroics, went up the other end and netted the opener through Juan Mata before comfortably sealing a 2-0 win.
The 53-year-old was quick to note the importance of the Spaniard’s contributions against Slaven Bilic’s side.
“I think when a goalkeeper is POTS it’s because something is wrong. Of course I would love goalkeepers to be recognised and win the Golden Ball, because goalkeepers are lonely guys with a different shirt, they get forgotten but in the last game I hugged David because no save, Antonio goal, no three points,” he said.
“But the reality is when season after season the goalkeeper is player of the season something is wrong, hopefully he keeps doing important saves for us.”
You could tell that Antonio’s inability to find his way past De Gea immediately precipitated a sense of foreboding. With ten men, against a dominant United side, that was their one chance, and the Spaniard duly foiled them.
Suddenly the body language was different: West Ham needed something – anything – to cling onto, but the onslaught – spearheaded by Marcus Rashford – continued and the East London side quickly caved in, with De Gea’s stop acting as a crucial blow to their overall spirit as the minutes ticked on.