Ferguson praises 'excellent' De Gea after draw in Madrid

MADRID Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:43am IST

Manchester United's goalkeeper David De Gea (R) saves a shot by Real Madrid's Fabio Coentrao during their Champions League soccer match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Juan Medina

Manchester United's goalkeeper David De Gea (R) saves a shot by Real Madrid's Fabio Coentrao during their Champions League soccer match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid February 13, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Juan Medina

MADRID (Reuters) - Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has been under the spotlight this season but won high praise from manager Alex Ferguson after an impressive performance in the Champions League at Real Madrid on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Spanish youth international made a string of saves to keep United in the game as they held out for a 1-1 draw in their last 16 first leg at the Bernabeu.

"It's a difficult place to come to, Real's home record is outstanding," Ferguson told a news conference.

"I was a bit disappointed with how deep we defended which gave Real a lot of opportunities for crosses and shots.

"Luckily David De Gea was excellent. He made three or four really top saves in the game."

De Gea has come in for criticism, since moving to Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid for around 20 million euros in 2011, with his slight build cited as a weakness in the hurly-burly of the Premier League.

Ferguson has stood by him, however, and he made superb blocks from Fabio Coentrao twice, the second with an outstretched boot, and another from Mesut Ozil in a one-on-one.

"He has been improving all season," Ferguson said.

"There was one save, I think it was in the first half when he got a touch of the ball that put it on the outside of the post. It was an absolutely superb save."

"It's a difficult place to come back to and to perform like that. He played for Atletico, so he'll be pleased with that."

Team mate Ryan Giggs added: "It's good for him to come back to Madrid and put in such a good performance. He is a top keeper and his shot stopping is second to none.

"He is maturing all the time and he has showed that tonight. He has come to Madrid with a lot of pressure on him, being from Atletico, and he has produced the goods."

Looking ahead to the return leg at Old Trafford on March 5, Ferguson added:

"We made chances all the time, and hopefully we don't regret that," he said.

"The away goal is important but it's not finished, of course, because Real Madrid are a fantastic counter-attacking team.

"It gives us a good chance. I look forward to it."

(Editing by Alison Wildey)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

U.S. Open

Reuters Showcase

Spending Spree

Spending Spree

Manchester United top deadline-day big spenders.  Full Article 

Difference of Opinion

Difference of Opinion

Ronaldo raises questions about Real transfer policy.  Full Article 

Transfer Acticity

Transfer Acticity

Arsenal sign Welbeck to long-term deal.  Full Article 

Kirk Takes Title

Kirk Takes Title

American Kirk wins Deutsche Bank title.  Full Article 

Falcao on Loan

Falcao on Loan

Manchester United confirm Falcao one-year loan .  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage