Opponents smell blood against David de Gea, says Chris Sutton, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Opponents smell blood against David de Gea, says Chris Sutton

Former Blackburn Rovers striker Chris Sutton believes opposition players sense weakness in David de Gea following his error-strewn displays in recent games.

The Manchester United goalkeeper's latest error came in Sunday's 1-1 English Premier League draw with Chelsea.

United had gone ahead through Juan Mata, but Chelsea equalised when de Gea weakly parried Antonio Ruediger's effort into the path of Marcos Alonso, who tucked the ball in.

"Strikers going up against de Gea will know fine well that he has made errors," said Sutton in his Daily Mail column.

"They will know his confidence is down and that his eyes appear to have been taken off the ball. So opponents will want to test him and shoot from distance, just as Ruediger did in the build-up to Alonso's goal."

But Sutton believes the Spaniard has done enough for the Red Devils to keep his place, but warned the shotstopper to prove himself again.

"De Gea still has credit in the bank, considering what he has done for the club, and is good enough to turn it around - but he has work to do to show he is a safe pair of hands again," he said.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed de Gea, saying he has the strength of character to rebound from his slump.

The Norwegian also added that the goalkeeper cannot take the blame for the team's struggles and that he has no intention of dropping him for the final two games of the season.

"I don't have any worries about him, because he's a strong character," Solskjaer said.

"He knows he could have had that shot, but that's football.

"David has been in the spotlight for the right reasons for so long and now he's going through a period where he feels he could have done better.

"But there's no chance any of us will point fingers because he's saved us so many times... He's not the reason we're sixth."

The draw leaves United on 65 points, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, with two games left. - REUTERS