David De Gea was thrilled after becoming the hero of the hour for Manchester United in our 2-1 win against West Ham United.
The Spaniard was suddenly thrown into the spotlight in the final minute of the game when the home side were awarded a controversial late penalty and, thus, a chance to equalise.
United had only just taken the lead with Jesse Lingard’s emphatic 89th-minute strike and hearts were in mouths, heads in hands when referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot following a handball from Luke Shaw after consulting the TV monitor.
In a stadium fully consumed by the late drama, De Gea remained cool to save Mark Noble’s penalty.
“It was a bit crazy at the end, a great goal of Jesse, a stupid penalty, lucky penalty for them at the end of the game,” De Gea told MUTV.
“They make the change [Noble coming on as a sub] so it was a little bit strange. At the end, I make the save, take the three points, a massive three points for us, so I’m very, very happy.”
In another interview, with Sky Sports, De Gea further explained his view of the penalty.
“I saw [Declan] Rice with the ball, so I was expecting him to take the penalty,” he said.
“Then I saw Noble with the ball. It was the last minute of the game [and] I made the save.
“[All I was thinking was] Just save, save the ball, save the penalty, help the team to win. It’s always difficult to play here against West Ham so [we are] really, really happy.”
As De Gea celebrated his penalty save, after a brief concern over whether he’d remained on his line, he admitted, his team-mates sprinted over to congratulate him. At full-time, only a minute later, he was mobbed by colleagues and coaching staff as fans erupted behind the throng of boys in blue.
“Amazing,” De Gea said of the moment.
“It’s difficult to describe with words to save the penalty at the end of the game, make the team win, all the fans, my team-mates, the staff, all together as a team, it was great.
“I think we reacted very well after the defeat in the Champions League. We were together, we fight until the end. We said in the dressing room we came here to take the three points and we did it, so we are really, really happy.”