Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea conceded he tried to put added pressure on Brighton’s penalty takers in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final shootout.
United made it to the final after beating the Seagulls 7-6 on penalties. It was a moment of relief for the Red Devils, coming just three days after the 3-0 defeat by Sevilla in the Europa League quarter-final second leg.
The defeat in Seville was painful for De Gea, who made mistakes for each of the home side’s goals in a poor performance. He had a much better showing at Wembley, making a number of fine saves to keep a clean sheet.
The Spanish keeper did not save any of Brighton’s seven penalties in the shootout, but Solly March blazed his effort over – allowing Lindelof to step up and win it, ensuring each of United’s seven takers found the back of the net.
De Gea struggled to thwart his opponents. And one United fan wrote on Twitter : “De Gea dived in the opposite direction for every penalty but United still won!” Another added: “De Gea just watching these penalties like us at home.”
While De Gea did not make any saves – he could be seen attempting to bring delays to each Brighton penalty taker, particularly March. He held onto the ball for a few seconds and stood over the penalty spot, delaying the Brighton midfielder’s effort.
“It was a very tight game against a very good team, who play really good football,” De Gea explained after the match. “We are in another final – but first we have another big game on Thursday (against Tottenham ) to focus on.”
When asked about his penalty tactic, De Gea said: “We prepared the penalties as always, I tried to put pressure on each of their takers. Our team took perfect penalties so we are delighted we are in the final.”
De Gea added on facing Man City in the final: “It is a long way until the final but it will be a big game against one of the best teams in the world. But we have shown that we can beat them. There is a lot of time before then, so we must finish in top four first before giving everything to the final.