Before we start pointing fingers and looking for people to blame at Liverpool (as we do), let’s spend a few electrons celebrating a player who’s become one of the best goalkeepers in England. To the extent there is a debate between Thibaut Courtois, Hugo Lloris, and David de Gea, the Manchester United keeper may have taken the lead in some minds, having given a virtuoso performance that kept a comfortable 3-0 win from becoming the shoot-out we deserved.
But de Gea doesn’t care about what we deserve. He cares about lessons cruelly handed out to the likes of Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli. He is single-mindedly intent on proving that no defense, no matter how poor, can undermine a brilliant goalkeeper. Start whichever midfielder-cum-center back in defense you want, Louis. David is unfeeling, He’s omnipotent. He is becoming “de God.”
Some of these weren’t just “great stops because they look hard, but most top goalkeepers would actually make that stop, too.” This was a Man of the Match caliber performance, with eight saves bringing unrestrained plaudits (like calling him a god) as well as people leveraging past blunders:
It’s compliment, albeit an ironic one. De Gea came to Manchester as a 20-year-old, made some high profile mistakes, and became the whipping boy at the end of some short-sighted analysis and scorching hot takes. In the three-plus years that’ve followed, he’s put himself into the conversation as one of the league’s best. While Courtois and Lloris both have very strong cases for the title, de Gea made his best claim today. United may have won by three goals, but it could have easily lost today’s game had an average keeper been in goal. For some, it’s funny to think of how far de Gea’s come.
He didn’t make water into wine, but he probably turned a loss into a win, and while goalkeepers are always keen to thank their defenses for help, there’s no need to do so today. De Gea was left on an island by his defense, and he turned it into an oasis. For one day, at least, he was de God.