Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has had a turbulent few years.
Prior to 2018, it seemed as though he was single-handedly saving United each week and had a legitimate claim as the best in the world.
Ever since then, De Gea’s form has been patchy and impossible to predict. For a time, kickstarted by a poor 2018 World Cup, costly errors seemed to regularly creep into his game. He was later dropped by Spain, but even with a general upturn in form this season, Friday night’s FA Cup tie against Everton was a stark reminder why the 32-year-old is no longer considered world class.
United had raced into an early lead through Antony and the hosts looked like they would tear Everton to pieces at Old Trafford. But De Gea dropping an absolute clanger let the Toffees back into it completely against the run of play.
The ball was recycled for a second phase from an Everton corner. But while the United outfield players failed to properly deal with it – Casemiro was body rolled by Amadou Onana – few would have expected De Gea to be beaten by such an innocuous cross by Neal Maupay.
Instead of easily collecting the ball with his hands at the near post or even just blocking it with his legs, De Gea seemed to go jelly-legged at precisely the wrong moment.
The ball ended up squirming through his open legs for Conor Coady, who probably couldn’t believe his luck to tap it into an open goal from a yard out.
Watching it back on ITV’s live coverage at half-time, former United captain turned pundit Roy Keane described the moment as a ‘shocking mistake’ several times.
He went on to say: “De Gea, there, it’s like ‘Carry On’ football. It look as if he’s had a few drinks. It’s almost as if the keeper has been sent off and an outfield player has gone in goal and he just doesn’t know what to do. A horrendous mistake.”