Man U's de Gea leaves good 1st impression

July, 23, 2011
7/23/11
8:21
PM CT


Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson got his first competitive look at goalkeeper David de Gea during the Red Devils' 3-1 victory over the Chicago Fire on Saturday.

David De Gea
Tasos Katoponis/Getty ImagesDavid de Gea's Manchester United debut was a success, according to his coach.

The Fire certainly tested the 20-year-old Spanish goalkeeper during their World Football Challenge match, tallying seven shots on goal and 21 shots in all.

De Gea made six saves and allowed the game's first goal from Fire defender Cory Gibbs in the 13th minute. After that, de Gea posted a clean sheet the rest of the way.

"I think that when he had to do something, he looked comfortable," Ferguson said. "He's technically very good, and that was impressive I thought. Always handling shots. They were all technically good. When they scored their first goal I thought maybe he could have come for it, but when I saw it again he had absolutely no chance. From that respect, he's done everything right."

De Gea had several key saves, but probably the biggest came near the end of the first half. Fire defender Gonzalo Segares created the attack on the left side and beat Gabriel Obertan to feed the ball to Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko in the middle. Nyarko tried to shoot toward the left side of the frame. But de Gea made a kick save to keep the match close at 1-0 heading into halftime.

"Gonzalo got it out wide and I thought he was going to cross it, but he just came straight to me," Nyarko said. "So I had to quickly react to it. I just touched it and hit it. De Gea made a great save. I thought it was going in. I wish it went in."

Overall, it was a satisfactory performance for the newcomer, who ultimately is expected to be the team's replacement for the retired Edwin van der Sar.

"He did well," Man U midfielder Ryan Giggs said. "His distribution is good. He's confident. Obviously he would have liked to have kept a clean sheet, but it wasn't meant to be today."

Between de Gea's language barrier and being thrust into the Man U spotlight, the Spanish goalkeeper has quite a bit on his plate to get into the flow of things.

"For me, I don't have a problem [communicating with him] because I speak Spanish, as well," Man U defender Patrice Evra said. "I sometimes translate what he says. But it's not easy for him to come to play for Man United."

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