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28th Apr 2019

Juan Mata comes to the defence of David De Gea following calls to start Sergio Romero

De Gea made another error this weekend

Darragh Murphy

Football fans tend to be a bit trigger-happy with their opinions

David De Gea has been Manchester United’s most reliable servant for years now, having been named the Red Devils’ player of the year in four of the last five seasons.

For the first time since his 2011 arrival from Atletico Madrid, however, De Gea’s performance have become a legitimate cause for concern among supporters.

The Spanish goalkeeper has been at fault for a number of goals conceded by United in recent weeks and the latest error occurred on Sunday afternoon, when Chelsea took advantage of a De Gea error to cancel out Juan Mata’s early opener.

With two games remaining this season and the likelihood of United making the top four not looking great, fans are now calling for De Gea to be dropped and replaced by Sergio Romero for the remaining pair of fixtures.

On commentary duty, United legend Gary Neville sympathised with De Gea and suggested that the shot-stopper will benefit from a summer’s break in which he can rest up and get his head straight.

Mata, meanwhile, has leapt to the defence of his teammate and close friend and revealed how he expects De Gea to bounce back from a shaky few months.

“You know David is unquestionable for me,” Mata said after the game. “His level has been fantastic for this club, he has been the best player over the last years and the points he has saved us have been incredible.

“The important thing is how he reacts, I have 100 per cent confidence in him and we all have, today he is obviously not happy, we are not happy, but we will return to training with the right attitude. For me his level is unquestionable.

“He knows I’m here for him and what I can do is give him an honest consideration of situation, he is disappointed over his situation but he is one of best in the world. Everyone makes mistakes but he’s strong mentally and he will save many goals in the next games. He has been the best for us and he had the team’s full confidence.”