Manchester United’s Michael Carrick insists keeper David De Gea will only get better after an inspired performance in a ‘pressure cooker’ atmosphere at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid.
The young Spaniard pulled off a string of fine saves to keep Madrid’s Galacticos at bay, earning plaudits among his teammates and in the previously unconvinced media.
The tie carried an added edge for the 22-year-old, who was a youth product of Madrid’s rivals Atletico, and Carrick is convinced the shot-stopper thrives under pressure.
“David’s performance just showed what he is all about – some of his saves kept us in the game at times,” he told PA Sport.
“There is no bigger pressure cooker really than this stage of the Champions League and coming to a place like this.
“Coming back home as well, there was an extra spotlight on him.”
De Gea’s performances have been scrutinised at times since his arrival at Old Trafford in 2011, but Carrick is convinced he is set for a big future.
“It is never nice when people question you but that is natural at a club like this,” explained Carrick. “You are always getting questioned and criticised.
“That is just how it is, you have to deal with it, he is a top keeper and he is only going to get better.
“To play at this club at such a young age and have so much on your shoulders and to then produce a performance like that just showed what he is all about.”
Carrick also praised Red Devils’ goalscorer on the night, Danny Welbeck, after the England international bagged what was only his second goal of the season.
“I thought Danny was magnificent,” said Carrick.” He probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves really, but on Wednesday night he was terrific and getting his goal will be a massive boost.
“It just showed what he is capable of, he has all the attributes to be a top player, I was delighted for him – he worked so hard.
“He is a genuinely nice lad who gives everything he has got, he is a Manchester lad and just loves the club. We all appreciate what Danny gives to the team, even if he is not scoring.
“The team is winning so it is not such an issue who is scoring, it was nice to see him get one in Madrid and even if he is playing and doing well but someone else is scoring I am sure Danny will take that.”
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