The Spaniard produced another faultless display in a fierce atmosphere and made several vital saves towards the end including an outstanding reflex save with his leg which he somehow steered over the bar.
His double save from Cheikhou Kouyate’s point blank shot and Andy Carroll’s venomous volley in the final few minutes effectively ensured Man United’s passage to the semi-finals.
Speaking after the game, van Gaal noted the importance of de Gea’s presence between the sticks. He said: “He is our goalkeeper. We kept him and that is because he is one of the best you can imagine.
“I am very happy with him.”
There are few players that fundamentally raise the entire mood of the team through their very presence but de Gea is one of those rare gems.
In a game of such magnitude, the Spaniard, after a lengthy period of having nothing to do, sprung into life in emphatic fashion.
It was a gentle reminder of why de Gea is vehemently pursued by so many sides and perhaps a gloomy precursor of another summer of loggerheads with Real Madrid, who will undoubtedly have the 25-year-old high on their shopping after last year’s bonkers deadline day fiasco.