David de Gea breaks his silence after Europa League final nightmare as Manchester United goalkeeper insists he will ‘fight again and win’ and thanks fans for support following missed spot-kick against Villarreal
- Manchester United were stunned after losing Europa League final to Villarreal
- With the game level at 1-1 after 120 minutes, a tense penalty shootout took place
- David de Gea missed his crucial spot-kick to hand the trophy to the LaLiga side
- The goalkeeper has now said he will ‘fight again’ and thanked fans for support
David de Gea has broken his silence after his nightmare showing in Manchester United’s Europa League loss by Villarreal – and said he would ‘fight again and win’.
The United goalkeeper was unable to keep out any of Villarreal’s 11 penalties in a marathon shootout, with the game having been locked level at 1-1 after 120 minutes, and then saw his crucial spot-kick saved.
His failure to find the net from 12 yards handed the trophy to Villarreal and De Gea cut a deflated and dejected figure when collecting his runners-up medal – which he promptly took off.
David de Gea has broken his silence after Manchester United’s Europa League loss to Villarreal
United stopper De Gea, who missed the crucial penalty, insisted he would ‘fight again and win’
De Gea’s team-mates were quick to rally around the 30-year-old, and the stopper himself has now emerged in bullish spirits, hinting that United would once again challenge for silverware soon.
Taking to social media, De Gea wrote: ‘To fall and rise. Learn from the experience, fight again and win. @ManUtd thanks for your support.’
The post was accompanied by a touching photo of De Gea being consoled by legendary former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who travelled with the club to Gdasnk and took part in the medal ceremony.
De Gea’s post was accompanied by this touching photo of him alongside Sir Alex Ferguson
United veteran De Gea was consoled by his team-mates after United had lost out in Gdansk
As the fallout to United’s shock defeat continues, it has emerged that De Gea went against instructions during the shootout which may have helped him send the cup to Old Trafford instead.
De Gea possesses an abysmal record of saving penalties, and has now conceded the last 40 he has faced in regulation time and shootouts for both United and Spain.
In fact, the last time the keeper stopped a penalty came against Everton in the 2016 FA Cup semi-final, over five years ago. Dean Henderson, his rival for the No 1 jersey, boasts a considerably better track record.
Before the shootout in Poland, De Gea was handed a note by coaches Richard Hartis and Craig Mawson which gave him an indication of where each of the Villarreal takers were expected to send their efforts.
With the penalty shootout going to sudden death for the two goalkeepers, De Gea stepped up
But Villarreal’s Geronimo Rulli guessed correctly and kept out the penalty to clinch the trophy
However, De Gea ignored the advice over Moi Gomez, the sixth man to step up, and instead plunged to his left. The penalty was rolled home down the centre of the net.
On two other occasions, De Gea also chose to discard the note – and after sudden death dramatically circled round to the two goalkeepers, it was the United man who didn’t convert.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted after the game that he had considered taking off De Gea for Henderson, although United instead brought on Juan Mata and Alex Telles, two renowned spot-kick experts.
‘You go through every scenario, of course,’ Solskjaer said. ‘And it had crossed my mind in the build-up to the game but we were confident in David and prepared.
It has emerged that De Gea went against advice given to him over each of Villarreal’s takers
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted he considered substituting De Gea off for Dean Henderson
‘Anything can happen in a penalty shootout.
‘I stuck with the keeper who played all of the game.
‘I’ve got to say the penalty shootout was high quality, but we didn’t do enough in the 120 minutes to score more goals and that’s the disappointing bit.
‘We had pressure, we had moments where we felt if we can just kick on a little bit now we can get a goal. But we just couldn’t.’
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