Solskjaer defends De Gea after Man Utd stopper’s gaffe gifts Chelsea a point

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OLE SOLSKJAER leapt to the defence of blunder ‘keeper David de Gea after another howler from the Spaniard cost Manchester United.

De Gea let a long range shot from Antonio Rudiger spill from his hands into the path of Marcos Alonso for a 43rd minute equaliser after Juan Mata had given United the 11th minute lead.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defended David de Gea after the Man United keeper's latest howler
Reuters

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defended David de Gea after the Man United keeper’s latest howler[/caption]

It was the latest in a string of gaffes by De Gea and meant United could not close the gap on fourth placed Chelsea in the battle for a Champions League place.

But Solskjaer said: “David knows he could have done better with the goal, there is no reason hiding it.

“David has been unbelievable for this club. We do support each other. There is no chance anyone can blame him for losing points.

“He knows he could have had that shot but that is football.

“I will have chats with him and he will respond in the right way.

HEADLINE PERFORMER

“When you’re a goalkeeper or a striker you’re always in the spotlight and if you miss a chance or score you get good or bad headlines.

“It’s the same with David, he’s been in spotlight for the right reasons for so long and he’s going through a period where he could have done better but I don’t have any worries about him, he’s a strong character.

“There’s many different ways of getting back into your best performances and of course I’ll sit down and speak to David as I’ve done when he’s played well.”

Solskjaer denied De Gea had got complacent or believes he is undroppable with Sergio Romero and Lee Grant waiting in the wings.

Solskjaer said: “He’s got two great keepers underneath, there is a fantastic atmosphere between them and Sergio’s played well.

“Lee’s fantastic in training you cannot say any complacency, he’s not the type, he’s a competitor.”

De Gea's mistake allowed Chelsea to equalise in the draw at Old Trafford
De Gea’s mistake allowed Chelsea to equalise in the draw at Old Trafford
Reuters

United remain three points behind fourth placed Chelsea with an inferior goal difference and just two games left to play.

Solskjaer said: “You look at the league table and it is going to be difficult.

“We have just got to make sure we win our next two games.

“You never knows because points are being dropped left, right and centre in this race.

“There are difficult games for all of us and we cannot do more than focus on our performance.”

Maurizio Sarri was left bemoaning a late chance missed by Gonzalo Higuain that could have decided things in the final minute of injury time.

GOING, GOING, GON

Sarri said: “If I look at the last ten mins when we have a lot of opportunities and the most important goal opportunity of the second half, I am not happy.

“But to play here I think it’s very difficult for us and every team,they played very well in the first 25 minutes we were in trouble because we did not have the right distances between Higuain and the midfielders so we were in trouble to cover the ball to the defenders. The ball was always a free ball.

“They were really dangerous in the space behind the lines so we were in trouble in the last part of the first half. We didn’t risk anything in the second half, only the corner in the last five minutes.

“The draw is not so much important for us, because also with the 1-1 here we have to win the last 2 matches otherwise we are at risk with the goal difference.”

Maurizio Sarri was unimpressed after Gonzalo Higuain squandered a late chance to win the game
Getty Images – Getty

Maurizio Sarri was unimpressed after Gonzalo Higuain squandered a late chance to win the game[/caption]

Sarri said Marcos Rojo deserved more than a yellow card for his challenge on Willian in the second-half when he put his studs into his ankle.

He said: “Willy was not happy I think.. the card was an orange card, between red and yellow card, but we have to accept the referee’s decision, it’s not easy for the referee, but in my opinion the yellow card was not enough of course.”

But he did not blame Nemanja Matic after he caught Cesar Azpilicueta with an outstretched arm in the first half.

He said: “I think he caught him but I don’t think it was intentional.”

Both managers finished the games with injury concerns.


Sarri said that Antonio Rudiger is definitely out of their Europa League semi-final first leg against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday with an injured knee.

Eric Bailly also limped off with a knee injury and won’t play in United’s final two league games.

Marcus Rashford had his shoulder strapped to play yesterday but did not finish the game.

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