The pre-match focus had been on Jose Mourinho's decision to omit Paul Pogba from his starting XI, but the France global was soon thrust into the action and produced a solid performance after replacing the injured Ander Herrera on 17 minutes.
The Blues battled to a 1-1 draw with La Liga giants Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night. "I think a fantastic player like Banega is, he wasn't, because he didn't have the space to be the Banega that the world of football admires and Paul replaced Ander", the United manager explained.
Things would have been worse than Herrera's injury had De Gea not saved United's blushes, with his stop from Luis Muriel's header late in the first half particularly eye-catching. "In England, some guys say the wingers shouldn't defend", he told reporters at this post-match press conference.
De Gea and United are back in action on Sunday, when they welcome Antonio Conte's Chelsea to the Theatre of Dreams.
He was not started in Sevilla draw but an injury scare meant Pogba was back on the pitch and his performance was duly credited by his manager who maintains that there is no rift between him and his player.More news: Fortnite Next Update Will Speed Up Building
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'I think it'll do him a lot of good, and I think we'll see a stronger Paul Pogba, the Paul Pogba that we saw at Juventus'. It's that simple. But it looks like some guys now are creating a new sport.
They have lost just once in all competitions at home in the last 15 months and gave a typically bold display in front of their boisterous supporters but could not take their chances. "That's a bit odd", he said after the last-16 clash.
"He looked a senior player, a player with great maturity, with tactical sense, with a sense of responsibility, good in possession, good in pressing". "They are hard games". "I'm not relieved. I really feel the result reflects what the game was like".
"You ask me is it a good result?"
We have two legs to play and we have one match to decide everything at Old Trafford.