David de Gea was one of the heroes of Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Everton on Saturday afternoon, pulling off an unbelievably good penalty save from Romelu Lukaku in the second half.
The Spain international, who is now regarded by some as the world’s best goalkeeper, dived low to his right and somehow kept out Lukaku’s powerful left-footed effort.
De Gea also pulled off several other saves to help his side reach the FA Cup final.
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However, Louis van Gaal revealed after the match that De Gea wasn’t at his mercurial best in training the day before the semi-final at Wembley.
The 25-year-old faced 20 penalties in training, according to the United boss, and failed to save one.
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Van Gaal: De Gea failed to save a single penalty
Sergio Romero, United’s number two who started the season in goal due to the uncertainty over De Gea’s future, managed to save one spot-kick from the same number taken.
“Yesterday we exercised penalties,” Van Gaal was quoted as saying by the Emirates FA Cup official Twitter account. “20 were taken. Romero stopped one and David zero, but today David stopped the important one.”
Herrera hailed De Gea after Everton win
De Gea, who was filmed passionately celebrating Anthony Martial’s winning goal in the 93rd minute, was hailed as the world’s best ‘keeper by teammate Ander Herrera after the final whistle.
"What can I say? I am not objective - he is the number one in the world," Ander Herrera told ManUtd.com and fellow reporters after the match. "In England you know that, but in the rest of the world they think they have better goalkeepers, but I don’t think so. When we win titles or trophies I think he will be more recognised.
"He has a special talent. When you are born with that quality and ability, you are so lucky. The rest of us humans, we have to work more. But what I like about him is that he is very calm, he has his feet on the ground. He doesn’t change when it comes to these kind of games so I think he is number one of Spain and in the world - he is my friend so I am very happy for him."
Could De Gea still end up at Real Madrid?
United will be desperate to hold onto their prized asset but rumours linking De Gea with a summer move to Real Madrid will intensify if Manchester United fail to secure Champions League football for next season.
The Red Devils are currently five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, but do have a game in hand.
Is David de Gea the best goalkeeper in the world? Have your say by leaving a comment below.