Manchester United goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel has backed under-fire Old Trafford number-one David De Gea - insisting the criticism of the Spaniard is unwarranted.

De Gea was heavily criticised for his punch in the dying seconds of Manchester United's 1-1 draw against Tottenham last weekend - the weak effort led to Spurs snatching a last-gasp equaliser.

And it's not the first time the former-Atletico Madrid keeper has come in for stick for his perceived inability to deal with crosses.

Still, Schmeichel insisted the 22-year-old should not be singled out, and instead pointed the finger at the Manchester United defenders in an interview on talkSPORT radio.

"I think the criticism is unwarranted," said the former-United goalkeeper on talkSPORT.

"We do concede far too many goals but we need to look at where we are defending from. We have a tendency to drop far too deep. We are inside the box too much and we should be outside the box.

"Look at the goal we conceded in the Capital One Cup tie against Chelsea, in the 94th minute, and the two goals we conceded against West Ham in the FA Cup."

De Gea's ability to deal with the physicality of the Premier League has been called into question ever since the Spanish under-21 international joined the Old Trafford club in 2011 for £17.8m - a record fee for a goalkeeper in the Premier League.

Sir Alex Ferguson initially opted to rotate De Gea and Danish stopper Anders Lindegaard but in recent months the United boss has picked the Spaniard ahead of Lindegaard.

But the poor punch against Tottenham provoked a renewed barrage of criticism, and prompted a flurry of speculation that the keeper could be replaced at Old Trafford, with Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly considering signing a new goalkeeper.


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