De Gea: We have great team spirit
Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea highlighted the Reds' team spirit following Sunday's 0-0 draw against Southampton in the Premier League.
De Gea played an integral role in United’s resilient performance at Old Trafford, after the Reds were reduced to 10 men by Casemiro's straight red card.
The Spaniard was forced into action on several occasions, notably denying Theo Walcott with two phenomenal close-range saves to keep the scoreline level.
Speaking to MUTV, United’s clean-sheets record holder said that despite the game plan being changed following the dismissal, his side showed great fortitude by defending successfully until the final whistle.
“Before the game, we wanted to win three points, but the game changed when Case (Casemiro) got sent off. It was very tough, but I think the team did well.
“We defended and then I think we had a couple of good chances to score a goal and win the game.
“We could have lost the game, we could have won the game. At the end, we have to take the point and it shows great team spirit, how we fought to the end.”
Casemiro was given his marching orders just 34 minutes into the game, following a challenge on Saints attacker Carlos Alcaraz. The Brazilian looked to have won the ball, before the follow-through of the tackle caught Alcaraz, and referee Anthony Taylor initially issued a yellow card.
However, after reviewing the footage with VAR, Taylor changed the decision and showed the red card to the Brazilian midfielder. When De Gea was asked what he thought about the dismissal, he replied that the former Real Madrid man was unfortunate.
“The tackle was a normal tackle,” said United's no.1. "But then, he touched the ball and the ball made his leg go a little higher and he hit the player of Southampton. He was very unlucky.
“We suffered a bit. To play for 70 minutes with 10 players is tough. But like I say, we showed good team spirit and we kept trying till the end and we nearly scored a goal.”
Casemiro will now be suspended for United's next four domestic games, due to it being his second red card of the season. But De Gea believes there are players in the squad who can step up to replace the Brazilian during what continues to be a congested schedule, with Real Betis away in the Europa League and then Fulham at home in the Emirates FA Cup to come in the next seven days.
“Of course, it is tough to miss Case for four games,” admitted the Spanish goalkeeper.
“It is a lot. But we have a big squad. Everyone is ready to play. Again, the players from the bench did an amazing job today. So, everyone is ready. Everyone who is set to play in that [midfield] position is going to play good. But of course, he is going to be a huge miss for us.”
“Of course, some games like today, you miss one player, players are going to get tired and you can drop some points.
“But let’s keep going, we have two more big games next week.”