Manchester United star David de Gea was hugely praised by fans following the narrow 2-1 win over West Ham and rightfully so.
The experienced Spaniard saved a penalty from Mark Noble, who came on as a substitute just for that moment, at the death to ensure his team kept all three points.
United had been denied a stonewall penalty themselves with the referee and VAR both opting to ignore Cristiano Ronaldo’s calls for justice.
West Ham then managed to earn their own penalty due to Luke Shaw’s flailing arm, putting a tremendous amount of pressure on De Gea’s shoulders.
However, the former Atletico Madrid man looks a renewed player this season and stepped up to the mark to deny Noble his special moment.
David de Gea has saved a Premier League penalty for the first time since October 2014:
He had conceded each of his last 21 faced. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/ttIQD6nyL6
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 19, 2021
This team 🥰 pic.twitter.com/UgNUAh4XfO
— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) September 19, 2021
The stat above shows why many Manchester United fans wouldn’t have felt confident with De Gea in goal for the penalty, despite his good form this season.
After all, the acrobatic goalkeeper isn’t known for his penalty-saving talents and is mostly praised for his instinctive world-class saves.
However, De Gea broke through this psychological barrier and helped hand his side a huge three points given the circumstances.
United’s players celebrated with their relieved teammate not because it was a cup final but because of how much drama and injustice they felt went against them.
De Gea has had to fight for his spot in the starting XI lately but this season he’s shown a return of form to his best.