Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea produced yet another virtuoso performance to help Spain register a 1-0 victory over Ukraine in the Euro qualifiers on Monday night.
De Gea, who started the match in place of rested Iker Casillas, made a string of stunning saves to help Spain qualify for Euro 2016.
Media publications in Spain, France, Italy and England have all praised De Gea, who almost single-handedly won the match for Spain at Kiev.
Ukraine created many chances and breached Spain’s defence on several occasions, but they couldn’t penetrate the wide-stretched arms of De Gea, much to the disbelief of the opposition players.
Thiago Alcantara, the Bayern Munich midfielder and De Gea’s national teammate, said after the match: “Sensational is little for his achievement. He has been splendid. We won because of him.”
Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque expressed his delight with his team’s strong defensive performance against Ukraine and specifically picked De Gea and Thiago for a special praise.
“In general, the performances of De Gea has been very good, and Thiago was also equally good,” he said in the post match press conference.
After a tumultuous summer, where De Gea’s future at Old Trafford came under intense speculation, the Spain goalkeeper has returned to his form of last season. The United keeper believes he is currently in the peak form of his career.
“It’s true that I had a bit of luck today, but I did well and I’ve got to keep it up.
“I’m in the best form of my career. I think it was a great team performance.
While De Gea is almost certain (unless he picks up an injury) to take over from Casillas in time for Euro 2016, his club teammates Juan Mata and Ander Herrera still need a strong season to force through into contention.
However, the news that has dominated the back pages of UK press this morning was the presence of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho at Ukraine v Spain on Monday night. The Portuguese dressed up like a Jedi and it quickly became a trending topic of discussion in the social media.
Spanish newspaper AS speculates that Mourinho was at the game to watch Ukraine attacker Andriy Yarmolenko. The winger, whose contract will expire next summer, is also a reported target of La Liga champions Barcelona.