David de Gea’s Calamitous Mistakes for Man Utd & Spain – Ranked

Mason Mount
De Gea’s most recent performance has seen him come under further pressure | Pool/Getty Images

Oh, David de Gea. What has happened?

The Spaniard had an afternoon to forget on Sunday as he was at fault for at least two (some would even say all three) of Chelsea’s goals in the FA Cup semi-final defeat. The spilling of the ball into his own net followed by the look up to the sky and then down at the ground again has been an all-too-familiar sight for Man Utd fans in recent seasons.

In fact, since the start of last season, only Martin Dubravka has made more errors leading to a goal than De Gea in the Premier League. Yikes.

This is a goalkeeper who won United’s Player of the Year award four times in five years not long ago, while he was widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world. During a time of such disappointment in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, De Gea was a shining light – but for over two years now, he hasn’t been himself, making sloppy mistake after sloppy mistake.

Following his most recent disasterclass, 90min takes a look at De Gea’s most notable mistakes since his form began to dip, ranking them in order of calamity…

It wasn’t a major error, but a goalkeeper of De Gea’s standards should have saved it | OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

De Gea and his near post in the past two years has been a nightmare combination for Man Utd fans.

Young Yan Valery decided to try his luck from distance and unleashed a ferocious strike on goal which flew into the top corner during United’s clash with Southampton last season. And if De Gea didn’t get anywhere near it, this wouldn’t even be considered an error.

But United’s number one did actually get two hands to the ball, but he was only able to help it into the top corner.

It wasn’t one of his worst mistakes, but it should have been stopped.

Calamity Rating: 3/10

David De GeaDavid De Gea
De Gea should have been stronger | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Was it the worst mistake in the world? No, not at all.

But with his side defending a corner, De Gea’s teammates will have looked to him to take the pressure off by claiming a cross that was so close to him.

Sure, there was a nudge – but was it enough? No. Instead, there was just a lack of hunger and desire to want to come and claim the ball, clearing out anybody in his way.

Calamity Rating: 5/10

David De GeaDavid De Gea
This was arguably one of the first times De Gea made a high-profile mistake in a while | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

June 2018 – around the time De Gea’s form first began to dip.

In a warm-up match prior to the 2018 World Cup, De Gea made what was considered a ‘rare’ mistake at the time when he failed to hold onto a weak shot, allowing Ricardo Rodriguez to tap into an empty net.

It would be the start of a worrying run of mistakes.

Calamity Rating: 5/10

David De GeaDavid De Gea
De Gea was too casual in this moment | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Even though I may not be a professional goalkeeper, it seems like common sense to avoid kicking the ball right at an opponent when he’s closing you down.

De Gea was pointing and directing his teammates, without realising that Dominic Calvert-Lewin was closing in. As he finally offloaded the ball, he ended up pinging it straight at Calvert-Lewin, with the ball ending up flying into his own net.

Oh, did we also mention it was only the third minute of the game as well? No? Well, there’s that, too.

Calamity Rating: 6/10

De Gea shouldn’t have let the ball in at his near post | PETER POWELL/Getty Images

It should take something fairly special to beat a goalkeeper at their near post. But while it was a well-taken goal from Junior Stanislas, it was not a goal United should have conceded.

Watching Stanislas nutmeg Harry Maguire, you would have expected De Gea to be ready for whatever was going to happen next.

He wasn’t, however.

Calamity Rating: 6/10

David De GeaDavid De Gea
Palace’s winner came in the final seconds of the game | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Oh, it’s that near post again.

With United pushing for a winner after Daniel James’ last minute equaliser, Palace were able to push forward on the counter-attack.

Surely, United couldn’t go on to lose the game so soon after equalising?

Well, they shouldn’t have done, but they did. And it was De Gea’s inability to deal with a comfortable shot at his near post that once again proved to be the issue.

It was a severe case of butter fingers once more.

Calamity Rating:

David De GeaDavid De Gea
Xhaka’s strike moved, but De Gea should have saved it | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Some may – and have – labelled Granit Xhaka’s strike against United back in March 2019 as a ‘stunner’, highlighting his technique as the ball swerved drastically to throw De Gea off.

But the reality is, De Gea should have stopped it.

The Spaniard was already leaning to one side, meaning he wasn’t able to adjust in time when the ball began to move away into the far corner. Despite the movement of the ball, there was plenty of time for De Gea to readjust even if he did move one side, but he instead ended up sitting and watching the ball dribble in.

Calamity Rating: 6/10

David de GeaDavid de Gea
De Gea failed to deal with the weak effort | Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Some may point to the fact that this was United’s first game back after the resumption of play in an effort to defend De Gea.

But this would be wrong.

Steven Bergwijn’s average shot came straight at him, all that was required of him was to either tip the ball away to safety or to catch it.

Instead he does neither, fumbling it into his own net.

Calamity Rating: 6.5/10

David de Gea, Marcos AlonsoDavid de Gea, Marcos Alonso
De Gea fumbled the ball into the patch of Marcos Alonso | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Man Utd came into this game three points behind their opponents Chelsea with just three games to go in the 2018/19 season.

A win would have significantly boosted the Red Devils’ Champions League hopes, but defeat or a draw would have been a major, major blow.

Juan Mata got United off to the perfect start, but just before half time, De Gea spilled Antonio Rudiger’s speculative effort, allowing Marcos Alonso to simply tap home.

It was a mistake no goalkeeper should be making.

With De Gea parrying the ball straight into the danger area, it made Alonso’s job so simple.

Calamity Rating: 6.5/10

David de GeaDavid de Gea
His parry left Ander Herrera struggling to clear the ball | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Shkodran Mustafi had what seemed like the entire 18 yard box to himself when he opened the scoring for Arsenal against Man Utd back in December of 2018.

But it wasn’t a great header. In fact, he headed it down into the ground before it bounced back up towards goal.

All De Gea had to do was tip it over.

While he got both his gloves to the ball, he ended up palming it back up into the air while it continued to spin towards goal. This complicated matters for Ander Herrera who was on the post and he was unable to deal with it in time.

Calamity Rating: 7/10

David de GeaDavid de Gea
Leroy Sane’s shot slipped right through De Gea | Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

Leroy Sane had all the time in the world to unleash an effort on De Gea’s goal, but fortunately for the Spaniard, he fired his effort right at the goalkeeper.

But De Gea was so slow getting over that he ended up deflecting Sane’s shot into his own net. The shot-stopper could have used his hands or his feet, while he could have decided to catch the ball or palm it away to safety. There were numerous options, but he was only able to help the ball on its way in.

At least with De Gea’s help, the ball did eventually fly into the corner of the net which is where it should have posed more of a problem rather down down the centre of the goal.

Calamity Rating: 7/10

David de GeaDavid de Gea
It was a very costly error against Barcelona | Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Look, we get it, Lionel Messi is good. Like, really very good.

But it was a weak right-footed effort that should have been oh so simple to deal with. But as has been the case far too often with De Gea in recent seasons, he made the simple look so unbelievably difficult.

Diving low to stop Messi’s effort, De Gea ended up letting the ball just slide through his gloves and under his body and into the net.

It doesn’t really get much worse.

Calamity Rating: 7.5/10

This was a significant moment for De Gea | MLADEN ANTONOV/Getty Images

While De Gea did make a mistake against Switzerland just two weeks earlier, it was his howler against Portugal during the World Cup that saw him dominate the headlines.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s strike was straight down his throat and he just needed to pick it up.

But as he went to grab the ball, he inexplicably let it slip through his grasp. On the biggest stage, it was a horrific mistake.

Calamity Rating: 8/10

David De GeaDavid De Gea
De Gea had a very tough afternoon against Chelsea | Pool/Getty Images

Dave the Save made not one, but two errors (some would even say three) for United against Chelsea in their 2020 FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

De Gea would have been expected to save Olivier Giroud’s opener with his feet, but it was his woeful attempt to block Mason Mount’s shot for the second that saw him criticised most. It was merely the latest example of his lack of concentration to do the most basic things these days – and it cost the Red Devils.

Calamity Rating: 9/10

David De GeaDavid De Gea
De Gea couldn’t hold onto Sarr’s effort | Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

We’ve mentioned ‘butter fingers’ a few times already, but this one tops the lot.

Ismaila Sarr sliced the ball into the ground, before it bounced up and should have simply flown into De Gea’s welcoming arms. Instead, however, he ended up unsuccessfully flapping at the ball on its way in.

Still, at least he got his hands on it – that’s a good thing, right?

Calamity Rating: 9.5/10

For more from Adam Aladay, follow him on Twitter!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *