The Spaniard kept a clean sheet after making some impressive saves, most notably from two efforts from Emre Can. De Gea put in the sort of display that Man United fans have come to expect from him given the high standards he has set for himself and he ensured that his side stayed in the game and kept it to 0-0.
De Gea was called into action more times than he would have liked as United struggled to impose themselves on the game and his stop from Can’s long-range drive in the second half was the pick of the bunch. His desire to keep a clean sheet meant the Reds were able to win the game with just the solitary goal but his manager was not overly ecstatic with the performance.
Speaking to BBC Sport, van Gaal said: “I don’t think David de Gea has done very much, two or three balls he has to stop, a goalkeeper has to do that. He is playing very good but you can not say he was a fantastic, marvellous goalkeeper today.”
It is a strange comment from the Dutchman, who has been bailed out by his goalkeeper on many occasions over the past two seasons with some world-class showings. De Gea has arguably become the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, if not the world, over the past few campaigns at Old Trafford and the high expectations could be what makes even brilliant saves seem ordinary.
On the other hand, it may just be a way of van Gaal insinuating that despite all of Liverpool’s dominance they couldn’t fashion any significant chances that really troubled the United goal.
It was a brilliant result for the Reds and it could be the win that can galvanise them for the rest of the season. A victory at Anfield is always sweeter than at any other ground and De Gea was key to ensuring United came away with all three points.