Manchester United striker Michael Owen has jumped to the defence of David De Gea following the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.

The Red Devils were knocked out of the competition after goals from Daniel Agger and Dirk Kuyt at Anfield, with Park Ji-Sung's equaliser not preventing an exit at the hands of Kenny Dalglish's side.

De Gea, never far from criticism during his time at Old Trafford, was once again in the firing line following the loss on Merseyside, with the blame placed at the Spaniard's door for Agger's opening goal, which came from a corner.

Former club captain Roy Keane, speaking on ITV1 as a pundit for the game, felt the 22-year-old needed to make his presence felt in the box.

"You've got to make your presence felt and go and nail somebody," said the Irishman.

But Owen, using his Twitter account, came to the defence of the stopper, and felt he could do little to prevent the Danish international from opening the scoring.

"The ball was on the six-yard box for the first goal. [David] has to go for it. He also needs to watch the flight of the ball. There are then six players in front of him," wrote Owen.

"There is nothing he could do. The free header was the problem, not the keeper. The problem is, once you get labelled, mud sticks and now any tiny mistake is magnified. Other goalkeepers make similar mistakes and nothing gets said.

"Admittedly, [David] has made a couple of mistakes this season but listening to some people you would think he had a nightmare [at Anfield]. I'm not having either goal was his fault. He couldn't do much with the second goal either."

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson also jumped to the defence of his player, believing the keeper wasn't given enough space by his own players to deal with the cross, despite pressure from Martin Kelly and Andy Carroll.

"They didn't give him [De Gea] enough room to deal with it," added the Scot.

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Michael Owen
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Manchester United
David de Gea