Dean Henderson.

Henderson dug deep to show spirit in comeback win

Friday 18 December 2020 09:20

Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson has been praised for his resilience after bouncing back from an early error to produce a match-winning stop in the dying embers of our 3-2 win over Sheffield United.

The 23-year-old was making just his second Premier League start for the Reds as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named the Englishman in his side at Bramall Lane, where Henderson spent the last two seasons on loan.

However, having enjoyed plenty of positives in South Yorkshire, where he helped Chris Wilder’s side to promotion and then a ninth-placed finish in the Premier League, his return to the Blades got off to a challenging start.

Dean Henderson cannot keep David McGoldrick's shot out.

In just the fifth minute, having received a pass from captain Harry Maguire in the box, Henderson showed hesitation for a split second but it was long enough for his former team-mates to pounce. The charging Oliver Burke lunged in, flicking the ball into the path of the on-running David McGoldrick who steered the ball home.

Despite this setback, the young stopper, remained composed and while he could do nothing about McGoldrick’s second, he ensured United would leave his former stomping ground with all three points by denying an injury-time volley when the ball dropped to Lys Mousset in the box.

At full-time the boss, teammates and pundits alike were unanimous that Henderson had proven valuable qualities in overcoming his initial mishap.

Commenting on the “character” Deano had shown, Ole said: “You know, when you’re a young keeper you’re going to make mistakes and that’s why he’s come back as well.

“He’s going to have to learn to make mistakes as a Man United keeper, and redeem himself, and he did. He kept his composure and played really well after that. He knows next time that when Oliver Burke is going to close him down he can’t dwell on the ball as he did.” 

Also acknowledging the positive contribution Henderson made to the result, Nemanja Matic said: “Of course, mistakes are a part of football; they’re a part of life. It doesn’t matter. The most important [thing] is to win three points.

“Sometimes he will save us, like he did towards the end. We believe that he is a top goalkeeper and, for sure, he will be important for us.”

Watch Dean Henderson's save from Lys Mousset in injury time.

Former Red Danny Webber, who was covering the game for MUTV, agreed that such challenges come with the territory.

“Keepers are going to make mistakes, but that error didn’t seem to faze him at all, especially against his old club,” he said.

“Some keepers might have gone under - he had over 80 minutes to play but he kept his head up. Even at the very end, Dean had the ball at his feet and was playing out from the back.”