Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described David de Gea as the “best goalkeeper in the world” and said the Spaniard had rescued them in Wednesday’s 2-1 Champions League win over Villarreal.
Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed the headlines with his stoppage-time winner as United came from behind to secure their first win in Group F but for Solskjaer, De Gea was man of the match.
“Thankfully we had the best goalkeeper in the world,” Solskjaer told reporters. “David was fantastic. Second half, they had more of the ball, it was open and they deserved to lead.”
De Gea did not enjoy similar acclaim in last season’s Europa League final against Villarreal, failing to save 11 kicks in a penalty shootout before missing his own effort to hand the Spaniards the title.
Solskjaer said he was pleased with his response.
“He had a difficult summer after (the Europa League final), he went to the Euros, didn’t play there, but he’s really come back with a determination, a belief and work rate I enjoy,” Solskjaer said.
“In this game he got his deserved outcome, because he saved us tonight. We have to be realistic and say that.”
United, who were stunned by Young Boys in their opening game of Europe’s elite club competition, are third in the group with three points from two games.
They return to Premier League action against Everton at Old Trafford on Saturday.