After a few weeks where De Gea looked less than his usual super-human self, the Spaniard pulled off a great save, even by his standards, to keep United in the match at 1-1.
With Glenn Murray bearing down on him no more than six yards out, De Gea somehow stuck out a strong right wrist and pushed the ball to safety.
It was the catalyst for Marouane Fellaini to go on and score the winner, leading to Van Gaal taking the rare step of praising an individual player.
“They had the chance and then his hand is there. He’s fantastic for us but we know that already,” said the United manager.
With the save just reaffirming supporters’ worries about De Gea leaving the club in the summer, rumours have began to surface suggesting the Spaniard could actually stay at Old Trafford for another year.
If so, it would be a huge boost to everyone at United and De Gea will surely be tempted to sign an extended contract of United’s return to the Champions League is soon confirmed.