The Frenchman completely changed the complexion of the game with a scintillating second half display, netting twice to bring Man United level before Chris Smalling put the visitors ahead.
United then had to suck up City’s pressure, and with four minutes left it looked as if Sergio Aguero would set up a tense finale, only for De Gea to magnificently tip his header over the bar.
And Pogba, amid the ecstasy following the full time whistle, was quick to acknowledge the 27-year-old’s vital contribution.
The greatest testament you can pay to De Gea is that, upon pulling off that masterstroke save, none of us were surprised. He does this every game, enmeshing himself into the narrative of the encounter with a single moment of sheer goalkeeping brilliance.
And in a game that felt so impacted by sways of momentum, preventing Aguero and City from scoring an equaliser with time left on the clock was crucial. It may well have given them the motivation they needed; but De Gea, as so many strikers have discovered this season, very rarely gives you that chance.