David De Gea made an uncharacteristic error during United’s defeat to Barcelona (Getty Images)Gary Neville believes that David De Gea’s costly mistake against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-final killed the game for Manchester United and called on the goalkeeper to ‘front up’ about it in public.
De Gea has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in world football during his eight years in English football, but he endured a night to forget in the Camp Nou after allowing Lionel Messi’s tame shot to sneak past him.
That goal on the 20-minute mark was Messi’s second of the night and put Barcelona in a commanding position in the tie before Philippe Coutinho made absolutely sure of the victory with a wonder-strike in the second half to make it 4-0 on aggregate.
Lionel Messi has his second, but has David de Gea to thank for it…
The ball squirms under the Man Utd keeper as Barcelona go 2-0 up. pic.twitter.com/5IrkRJ3SyH
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 16, 2019
De Gea has been criticised at times for his performances for both United and the Spanish national team over the past year and while Neville said it was a ‘bad goal to lose’, he insisted it was an uncharacteristic error from the 28-year-old.
Speaking to beIN SPORTS, Neville said: ‘The David De Gea second goal took the game away from United, it deflated the whole team, took the spirit out of them.
“The coaching staff will see there’s a massive gulf between Europe’s best teams and where #MUFC are at. Manchester United need to revamp their squad – he needs a new defence in its entirety.”#beINUCL #BARMUN 📺 HD11 pic.twitter.com/3G3xq0L9ZI
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS) April 16, 2019
‘I don’t know where it came from. I know people have said that David De Gea has made some mistakes, obviously in the last 12 months but not that many like that for Manchester United, in fact, I can’t think of any like that.
‘It was a bad goal to lose. It will be interesting to see what he says, I hope he comes out and fronts up. I think it’s important when you make a mistake of that nature in your home country, he’s now an experienced player, I hope he’s the one coming out and explaining it.
‘I think that will bode well for him.’
Although De Gea was at fault for Messi’s second goal, he partially redeemed himself later on in the first half by making a fine stop to deny Sergi Roberto before thwarting Ivan Rakitic and denying Messi his hat-trick in the second period.
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