Garth Crooks highlighted David De Gea’s “big-game temperament” as a key factor in Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.
The Spain international has managed to retain his starting spot in the Manchester United team despite being under pressure from Dean Henderson.
De Gea has cut the mistakes out of his performances in the current campaign after the 30-year-old struggled in the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.
The Manchester United number one made four saves to keep Aston Villa at bay at Old Trafford, although Emiliano Martinez made seven saves in the visitors’ goal.
De Gea’s best save of the Premier League clash came when De Gea managed to deny full-back Matty Cash in the second half of the New Year’s Day clash.
BBC Sport pundit Crooks heaped praise on De Gea for his influential performances in the Manchester United goal during the club’s recent upturn in form.
“There were two pivotal moments in the remaining minutes of this game that signalled the importance placed on Manchester United winning the match,” Crooks told BBC Sport.
“The block by Eric Bailly on Keinan Davis’ shot that was almost certainly destined for the back of the United net and the save by De Gea from Matty Cash.
“There were other excellent saves from De Gea earlier in the game from John McGinn and Ollie Watkins, but you expect a keeper of De Gea’s class to keep them out.
“Villa were impressive and deserved a point from this game, but they were denied because of De Gea’s big-match temperament.
“De Gea is United’s number one for a reason. He wins you matches.”
De Gea has made 19 appearances in all competitions in the 2020-21 season.
The Spain international is looking to win his first Premier League title since 2013, when De Gea was a key part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s title-winning side.
Manchester United are level on points with Premier League leaders Liverpool FC at the top of the table.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will make the trip to Burnley in their next Premier League game on Tuesday 12 January.
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