Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has lambasted David de Gea for his display in the Red Devils’ defeat against Sevilla on Thursday (April 20).
United took on the Spanish side at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League quarterfinal. The Premier League giants put in a poor display, losing 3-0 to exit the competition with a 5-2 aggregate loss.
De Gea, in particular, had a nightmare outing and was culpable for at least two of the three goals. The Spaniard looked nervous on the ball and didn’t communicate well enough with his backline, which was without Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.
That brought him criticism from Scholes, who said on BT Sport (as quoted by United in Focus):
“He was making me nervous. He was making the whole team nervous. What’s he going to do.”
Another former United midfielder, Robbie Savage, also slammed De Gea while on commentary duty for BT Sport (via the aforementioned source):
“He’s saved Manchester United numerous times, but tonight was one of his worst performances in a United shirt.”
Erik ten Hag’s side took less than eight minutes to go a goal down following a risky pass from De Gea to Harry Maguire on the edge of the box.
Maguire was instantly closed down by three Sevilla players, and Erik Lamela intercepted the Englishman’s weak pass attempt. Youssef En-Nesyri latched on to the ball to break the deadlock.
Just two minutes into the second half, more poor defending from the Red Devils allowed Loic Bade to get a shoulder to the ball at the near post from a corner. De Gea seemed a bit late to react and was beaten almost in slow motion as the ball crept in off the crossbar.
Arguably his biggest error of the night came in the 81st minute, though. A booted clearance forward from Sevilla should have been routine for De Gea, who was under no pressure outside his area. However, the Manchester United goalkeeper poked a lazy foot at the ball and gave it straight to En-Nesyri, who lobbed into an empty net.
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag defends David de Gea after torrid outing against Sevilla
David de Gea has received plenty of criticism for his passing ability over the season. That, combined with his contract running out in the summer, has led many to believe that this season could be his last for Manchester United.
Erik ten Hag, though, was quick to shut down a question about De Gea’s future following the Europa League defeat at Sevilla. The Red Devils boss said (as quoted by Manchester Evening News):
“He’s the one with the most clean sheets in the Premier League; that shows he’s a very capable goalkeeper.”
The Spanish custodian has 14 clean sheets in 30 Premier League games this term. However, he has also conceded 37 goals in the league and 53 in 48 games across competitions.
Questions over his ability to play out from the back began when he made multiple errors during Manchester United’s 4-0 loss to Brentford in August. While his shot-stopping has been praised, doubts over his distribution remain more than eight months later.