David De Gea may have come to Manchester United’s rescue in the 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Everton but he was not on top form during training on Friday.
The Spaniard denied Romelu Lukaku from the penalty spot during the second half at Wembley, saving low to his right after Timothy Fosu-Mensah had clumsily felled Ross Barkley.
De Gea’s heroics kept the score at 1-0, only for Chris Smalling to slice an attempted clearance into his own net minutes later.
The defender’s blushes were spared, however, when Anthony Martial slotted a stoppage-time winner and sealed United’s first FA Cup final appearance since 2007.
Louis van Gaal, United’s manager, was delighted with his goalkeeper’s penalty save and later revealed that it had come a day after De Gea had failed to stop a single penalty in training.
“Yesterday, we have also exercised our penalties,” he said, during his post-match press conference on Saturday. “Twenty penalties we have taken. Sergio Romero stopped one, David De Gea zero.”
“But today, it was the most important penalty that he stopped.”
Van Gaal would not reveal the identity of the player who save his penalty saved by Romero.