Ole Gunnar Solskjær refused to say he should have dropped David de Gea after the goalkeeper’s latest blunder allowed Chelsea to draw 1-1 at Old Trafford and damaged Manchester United’s hopes of Champions League qualification.
“No,” said Solskjær when asked if De Gea should have been left out. “David has been a fantastic keeper at this club, his reaction after Manchester City was good and I was confident in him. He knows he could do better with their goal but it’s one of those things again.”
He added: “David has been unbelievable. We do support each other. There is no chance anyone can blame him for losing points. He knows he could have had that shot but that is football. David is one who likes to play games and I will have chats with him and he will respond in the right way.”
Solskjær also indicated he would not leave the Spain goalkeeper out when United travel to Huddersfield Town for Sunday’s penultimate Premier League game. Asked if it might be better to drop him, Solskjær responded: “You think so? There’s many different ways of getting back into your best performances and of course I’ll sit down and speak to David as I’ve done when he’s played well – he’s not the reason why we are sixth.”
The result leaves United on 65 points, three behind Chelsea in fourth who also have a superior goal difference by eight. United took the lead through Juan Mata’s 11th-minute goal and were in control until Antonio Rüdiger’s 30-yard shot was spilled by De Gea and Marcos Alonso fielded the rebound to equalise.
It is the latest in a run of mistakes from the goalkeeper that have cost nine goals over the last two months. The most recent were those that handed City both in last Wednesday’s 2-0 derby defeat at Old Trafford, as well as errors for two of the goals conceded in the 4-0 loss at Everton.
But Solskjær refused to accept that De Gea has become complacent because of thinking his place is untouchable, with the manager pointing to the quality of his understudies, Sergio Romero and Lee Grant.