Sunday 15 September 2019

Solskjaer stands by 'strong character' De Gea after error

Marcos Alonso fires home Chelsea’s equalising goal past David de Gea after a blunder by the Manchester United goalkeeper at Old Trafford. Photo: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images
Marcos Alonso fires home Chelsea’s equalising goal past David de Gea after a blunder by the Manchester United goalkeeper at Old Trafford. Photo: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains steadfast in his support of David de Gea despite another high-profile mistake from the faltering goalkeeper.

The Spaniard was at fault for Chelsea's leveller, parrying a long-range Antonio Rudiger shot which let Marcos Alonso steal in.

De Gea made a fine save from Gonzalo Higuain in the dying seconds, but the major talking point was his latest blunder, following on from mistakes against Man City in midweek and Barcelona earlier this month.

United's hopes of a top-four Premier League finish are out of their hands with this result, though Solskjaer, who publicly backed De Gea before this weekend, was loath to place too much blame on his custodian.

Solskajer said: "He's been in the spotlight for the right reasons for so long, now he's going through a period where he probably feels he could have done better. I don't have any worries about him because he's a strong character.

"David knows he could have done better with the goal, there's no reason to hide that, but there's no chance any of us will point fingers because he's saved us so many times."

England striker Marcus Rashford was withdrawn midway through the second-half because of a shoulder injury, while Solskjaer confirmed Eric Bailly's season was over after he awkwardly twisted his knee shortly afterwards.

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has his own injury worries, with Rudiger being helped off the field after injuring his knee.

The Italian believes United were fortunate to finish the match with their full complement, with Marcos Rojo booked for a studs-up challenge on Willian, who was substituted shortly after the tackle.

Sarri said: "The card was an orange card - between the yellow and the red card. We have to accept everything from the referee, of course.

"It's not easy for the referee but in my opinion the yellow card was not enough."

Irish Independent

The Throw-In: Selection dilemma for Dublin and All-Ireland ladies football final preview

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Also in Sport