Maguire: World-class De Gea deserved clean sheet

Saturday 11 December 2021 20:23

Harry Maguire believes "world-class" David De Gea is in some of the form of his life after the Spaniard provided several crucial interventions in Manchester United's Saturday evening win against Norwich City.

United managed a second consecutive Premier League clean sheet at Carrow Road, where Cristiano Ronaldo's 75th-minute penalty proved to be the difference.

De Gea was as much of a match-winner as Ronaldo though, after pulling off a string of superb saves in the second half. The 31-year-old has been in fantastic form this season and Maguire was full of praise for his defensive team-mate after the game.

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"Big saves in big moments of the game, I think that's what goalkeepers are there for, they make big saves when it matters," Maguire told MUTV.

"David's shown again tonight he's a world-class goalkeeper, a great shot-stopper. When they created the chances, he was there, he made big saves."

It's been a bittersweet season for De Gea, who has had to pick the ball out the back of his net far more often than he would have liked, especially given the excellent form he has shown personally throughout the campaign. But two consecutive league clean sheets is an important step in the right direction.

"It's a big clean sheet for him," Maguire continued. "We haven't had enough this season, it's nice to start getting them, two on the spin [in the league], we've got to go again on Tuesday.

"David's played some magnificent football in his career. Since I've been here, it's probably the best form [he's showed] but that's probably for him to speak about. He's a world-class goalkeeper; he makes big saves in big moments."

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That De Gea had to be called into action so often at Carrow Road speaks volumes about Norwich's threat in attack. The home side looked certain to score on a couple of occasions and United's players and coaching staff alike will be keen to reduce the number of shots on goal in future games.

While emphasising the importance of not conceding, Maguire admitted United will need to do better in upcoming games.

"We wanted to dominate the game a little bit more, play on the front foot, a little bit more aggressive, a little bit more tempo, it's something we'll work on and improve on," the club captain explained.

"We spoke about it at half-time, make sure we keep a clean sheet and we still fancy our chances to go and win the game and that's what we did.

Ronaldo emphatically converted a second-half penalty.

"Obviously Cristiano is in the team and when that happens, you've got the greatest ever match-winner there's ever been. So we know that we're always going to score goals.

"Like I say, a couple of great saves from David, a big clean sheet, a big win away from home and our fans deserve that in the corner because the atmosphere they created tonight was incredible."