David De Gea is a very good goalkeeper and for Manchester United he has been fruitful consistently.  He was United’s player of the season for three straight years and four in five. Again, for the longest time had been the vital cog between Manchester United and mysery.

Countless times he intervened like a goalkeeping god, descending from the heavens to thwart an opponent who had no right to be thwarted. United’s second-place finish in 2017-18 was always entirely delivered by De Gea’s outstanding performance.

Thus, to say, in the FA Cup semifinal against Chelsea, Manchester United paid a heavy price due to De Gea would be quite unthinkable. But as a matter of fact, it was such.

De Gea was very poor. Atrocious. Rusty.

Defensively Chelsea struggled this season and the kind of impressive players Manchester United have upfront, surely, the backline of the Blues were expected to experience a tough evening.

Chelsea took a 3-4-3, changing to 3-5-2 shape to inject solidity, and with the progress of the match; Chelsea coped well with the system. They dominated the midfield game, where United struggled. There were sharp-through-balls from Bruno Fernandes, but this time around, Chelsea backline was alert to neutralize those.

The attacking intent of United’s frontline forced them to advance leaving the back vulnerable and on the break, Chelsea took over and tried to strike.

Then De Gea showed up!

De Gea was responsible for all three goals that United conceded. On the first, he was slow to react when Oliver Giroud flicked a low shot his way – the poor act of the wrists, which was solid not so long ago. Giroud’s shot trickled over the line, almost embarrassingly so; De Gea even had time to turn and watch it go in.

The third goal was an own goal – Harry Maguire swiped it in under no pressure; he was going into a 50-50 with Antonio Rudiger and De Gea was simply reacting to a shot. And he reacted slowly and was beaten at his near post.

Meanwhile, the second goal was just a howler!

The worst mistake at the worst time!

As United had just come out of half-time, and looked to turn things around and equalize, a poor pass from Brandon Williams saw Mason Mount advance on United’s goal and unleash a shot from outside the box – low and quick but not far from De Gea and keeping in mind his experience and skill level, it was easy for him to save. But instead, he let it slip through his fingers and into the back of the net.

What a mistake by the most experienced keeper in Old Trafford!

Chelsea would tear down United for the rest of the evening.

The United players lost the intent to fight and the Blues fed their anxiety.

Chelsea would meet Arsenal in the finals.

Sadly, De Gea proving to be the weakest link in the United line-up.

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