LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Manchester United’s David De Gea and Everton’s Jordan Pickford experienced the highs and lows of being a goalkeeper after their mistakes led to both goals in the 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Sunday before they made amends with fine saves.
De Gea gifted Everton a third minute lead when he casually hung on to the ball, allowing Dominic Calvert-Lewin to close him down and then drilling his attempted clearance into the striker — with the ball flying into the unguarded net.
United got back on level terms with a long-range Bruno Fernandes effort which caught England keeper Pickford out of position.
But both keepers made crucial saves late in the game with Pickford, in particular, producing a brilliant double-stop in the final minute of normal time.
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti said he would not be speaking to Pickford about the mistake and said the ups and downs were part of the goalkeeper’s fate.
“He did well. I don’t want to judge individual performances. He tried to do his best - sometimes it was good and sometimes he could do better, but this is the life of the goalkeeper,” said the Italian.
De Gea was sharp for the rest of the game and kept out a Gylfi Sigurdsson effort just before the controversial disallowed Everton effort in stoppage time.
But his error ensured that United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faced post-match questions about whether the Spaniard might face a challenge for his place next season from Dean Henderson, the United keeper who is enjoying an excellent season on loan at Sheffield United.
“We want the best possible squad for Manchester United and Dean is our player. He is doing really well at the moment and the day he comes back he will be fighting to play but David has shown here his reaction, the way he made amends and saved Sigurdsson’s shot at the end,” said the Norwegian.
“David is for me the best goalkeeper in the world. We want a squad that is full of quality and competition. If you want to survive at the top you need to bounce off competition right left and centre.
“He went through a difficult patch last season but he has been very good this season. I trust David 100% percent.”
Reporting by Simon Evans