Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea pulled off a sensational stop late in the game to deny Watford a draw at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Manchester United custodian David De Gea has been hailed as ‘the Lionel Messi of goalkeepers’ by his Watford counterpart Ben Foster, after the Spaniard’s stunning display against the Hornets on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils beat Javi Gracia’s men 2-1 at Vicarage Road this weekend and De Gea was at the heart of the victory, pulling off two important saves at crucial moments of the game.

Early in the first period, the Spanish international made a solid one-handed stop to keep Troy Deeney’s powerful strike with the scoreline still at 0-0, before pulling off a spectacular reaction save to deny Christian Kabasele a goal late in the game, that would have earned the Hornets a point.

And Foster, who spent five years with Manchester United between 2005 and 2010, was left heavily impressed by the 27-year old’s performance on Saturday evening.

Speaking of De Gea’s heroics, the Watford stopper said (as quoted by the Mirror): “He is the Messi of goalkeeping. He has been the best goalkeeper in the world for years. He is absolutely brilliant now. Some of the saves he makes at really critical times are just breathtaking.

“He does it all the time. It’s almost like he is not even bothered either! It would be so nice to pull those saves off, get up and it’s almost like he just wants to go home. He can’t be bothered! But seriously, he is brilliant. A top goalie and if any young goalie out there wants to learn how to be a goalkeeper watch David De Gea. He is world class.”

The former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper, who won the Golden Glove in the 2017-18 Premier League campaign, had drawn a lot of criticism all summer after a dismal World Cup campaign with Spain, where he made a few high-profile errors and failed to live up to the expectations.

The Messi of goalkeepers - David De Gea (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The Messi of goalkeepers – David De Gea (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

However, Foster defended De Gea, reiterating that the 27-year old is the best goalkeeper in the game at the time. He said: “[The criticism] comes with the territory. You’re only as good as your last game and that’s the way it always will be. Fortunately for David, people that know – his manager for example or his team-mates, know that he is the best goalie in the world and that’s all there is to it.

“He might let a bad one in now and then like we all do but he will come up with the goods like he did today to win his team the match.”

De Gea has made five appearances in the 2018-19 season for Manchester United, but has managed a solitary clean sheet so far, conceding eight goals in the process. The goalkeeper is in the final year of his contract with the Mancunians, although the club does have the option of extending it by another year.

Negotiations over a new contract are understood to be ongoing, with the 27-year old expected to sign a new long-term deal worth £200,000-a-week in wages.

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