Spain head coach Luis Enrique has defended David De Gea after he put in another disappointing display for his country in a 1-0 defeat against Ukraine in the UEFA Nations League.
Viktor Tsygankov’s 76th minute winner on Tuesday saw De Gea caught out of position yer again as Spain suffered their first loss since November 2018.
The visitors had dominated the match in Kiev, taking 21 shots compared to Ukraine’s two, but were unable to convert their chances into a goal before being hit on the counterattack by Ukraine.
The game raised more questions about Spain’s lack of a reliable goalkeeper and a natural goalscorer ahead of next summer’s European Championships.
“You can always do more,” Luis Enrique said in his postmatch news conference when asked about De Gea’s error. “But to blame [De Gea]… it’s a bad habit, you [journalists] love doing it.”
“We could all do more, me first of all. When you get a cake you share it, and when you get a plate of food that’s going bad, you share that too. We all could have done more, but in a game like this, if you blame De Gea, let’s finish up and go home.”
De Gea has started all four of Spain’s Nations League games this campaign, while Kepa Arrizabalaga was picked for a 0-0 friendly game with Portugal last week.
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De Gea has been persistently criticised in Spain for his performances with the national team, more so since a disastrous display at the 2018 World Cup.
But, He has kept his place due to a lack of reliable alternatives. Kepa was seen as De Gea’s successor after his move to Chelsea in 2018 but has since struggled in the Premier League.
Despite Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat, Spain remain top of their Nations League Group on seven points, ahead of Germany, who played a 3-3 draw with Switzerland.