Home » EPL, Latest » Fergie stands by keeper De Gea despite Anfield blunders

Sir Alex Ferguson stood by keeper David De Gea ­yesterday despite another blunder-filled display that gifted Liverpool a passage to the fifth round.

The £19million Spaniard, kept out of the firing line for four games after a string of ­unconvincing performances, was recalled for the trip to Liverpool.

And he ‘repaid’ his gaffer for the faith shown in him with one of his shakiest of the ­season.

De Gea was caught out by Steven Gerrard’s perfectly-delivered 20th-minute corner which Daniel Agger headed home.

And after a series of mistakes that spread panic in the United box, he could arguably have done more to stop Dirk Kuyt’s late strike that earned Liverpool victory.

But Fergie was in no mood to ­finger his keeper yesterday, claiming it was up to the United defenders to help out more. “Our own players created a problem for the first goal,” said Fergie. “They didn’t give David enough room to deal with it.”

Anders Lindegaard had started all four United games following their defeat by Blackburn on New Year’s Eve and it will be fascinating to see who Fergie selects for Tuesday’s Premier League clash at home to Stoke.

It was a bad day for Ferguson who had hoped his stars would see off Liverpool after beating Manchester City in the third round.

He said: “To lose it is a real sickening blow because we ­dominated in terms of possession. We were ­comfortable so it is a ­disappointment to lose.

“Some of our possession was good. Our movement off the ball was good and it was a really good finish by Park for the equaliser.

“At that point I thought we were in the driving seat. We have hit the post through Valencia and I thought Danny [Welbeck] could have scored in the second half.

“I wasn’t thinking about a replay near the end – I was looking to win it. That is why I put Hernandez on.

“I thought his pace around the edge of the box would be difficult to ­handle.”

Kuyt caught Patrice Evra, ­barracked for 90 minutes for his part in the Luis Suarez row, out of position late on to drill home Liverpool’s ­winner from an Andy Carroll headed flick but Fergie had his doubts about the legality of the goal.

He said: “I haven’t seen a replay of their winner so I’m not sure whether it was offside. But you don’t always get decisions here anyway.

“We never got anything from the referee, really, but in a way it was well handled.”

Fergie paid tribute to both teams – under the microscope following the Suarez-Evra row – for completing the 90 minutes without incident

“The players showed great respect to each other,” he said. “There was not a bad tackle in the game. It was played in a good spirit so we are pleased with that.”

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish refused to take credit for his match-clinching substitution after Kuyt’s winner.

He joked: “I take none whatsoever. I should have started with him … we could have been finished in the first half.

“The commitment, the attitude, the desire to get a result was fantastic. I can’t speak highly enough of the players.”

Liverpool drew 2-2 with Manchester City on Wednesday to seal their spot in the Carling Cup final and will now be looking to book a second Wembley slot.

Yet just a week earlier all at Anfield was gloom following a ­catastrophic defeat at Bolton. Dalglish added: “We’ll have to see what this sort of week does for the rest of our season.

“It started badly for us at Bolton and it’s fantastic credit to the players and how much pride they take in the football club that they got themselves back on track as quickly as they did.”

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