I just watched a rather entertaining Europa League game between Manchester United and Athletic Club Bilao.
The spanish club came at United with an intensity and if it were not for a number of great saves by De Gea they would have won by more than the 3-2 margin.
The Manchester United goalkeeper’s form has been much improved since his return to the team after being dropped for four games in January. This game he pulled off a number of saves as the Spanish bombardment came. After pulling off a cracking low save prior to Bilbao’s third goal, I am surprised that no one mentioned that the keeper was surely to blame for the goal and thus the defeat.
Here is my issue – De Gea’s “second save” from the shot was dreadful! He pulled off a great save, but did not parry wide enough. In my opinion he took forever to get up and upon diving for the loose ball he did not go hands leading, choosing to run around the ball, thus allowing the oncoming player time to get the shot off.
When making the “second save” a goalkeeper should ensure that they can get their hands to the loose ball as quick as possible. I can not think of many occasions when a goalkeeper would make the first on one side and make the follow up with the other side.
Here is the game, with the mistake at 9:15