David de Gea received praise from Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag for overcoming a challenging game against Sevilla in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final victory against Brighton on penalties.
In the 3-0 loss to Sevilla on Thursday, which guaranteed United’s elimination from the Europa League at the quarterfinal stage, De Gea was generally held responsible for all three of Sevilla’s goals.
But three days later, he produced a number of outstanding save to stop Brighton, which ultimately led to the game heading to penalties.
Despite the fact that De Gea was never especially close to any of Brighton’s penalty penalties, United did advance to the final after winning 7-6. Solly March scored a goal before Victor Lindelof put an end to the Seagulls’ chances.
Even while United’s overall performance was not very impressive, there was a noticeable improvement from Thursday, notably De Gea.
“I think he had two brilliant saves and know that he’s a world-class keeper,” Ten Hag said. “Thursday, he had a really bad day at the office, and it hurt.
“[Criticism] was justified on Thursday but, today, the lads deserve compliments and credit because they bounced back once again, they showed character.
“What we have to learn and improve, which must be our next step, is that if we have a setback in a game, we fight back in that same game, that we keep calm and fight back in that same game.
“We have to deal with setbacks and we can do it better but in between games, and it’s not the first time, we do it very well.”
The FA Cup championship game will feature the first-ever Manchester derby between Manchester City and United.
Although Ten Hag noted that United’s 2-1 victory in the January derby as evidence that they can overcome Pep Guardiola’s treble-chasing team, United will enter the match as significant underdogs.
“We have proof that we can beat them but then we have to play the perfect game,” Ten Hag continued.