Fergie-time winners certainly scripted much of Manchester United’s history but on Sunday the Red Devils added a page to the late drama in different ink.
David de Gea saved a last-minute penalty to keep Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side’s 2-1 scoreline over West Ham United intact. The celebrations were jubilant. An ecstatic London crowd probably could not contain their disappointment when David Moyes’ “specialization” substitute Mark Noble could not deliver the most important kick of the game.
The scoreline up until that point was illustrated by Cristiano Ronaldo’s equalizer to Said Benrahma’s first-half opener. Substitute Jesse Lingard was prompt in scoring the crucial winner in the 89th minute, assisted by another substitute Nemanja Matic.
Needless to say, Twitter was riddled with reactions specifically to the exciting moment which ended the game.
In particular, several supporters heralded the patience and composure with which De Gea blocked the 34-year-old’s shot.
David de Gea is mobbed by the Manchester United players at full-time for saving a last minute penalty 👏 pic.twitter.com/IFi62ZQdd2
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 19, 2021
De gea just made me do a chest slide in my living room
— One (@HeadieOne) September 19, 2021
Delighted for David De Gea after the Europa League final. Least #MUFC deserve after that second half performance & the bizarre VAR implementation (not for the first time this weekend)
— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) September 19, 2021
You can tell Lingard and De Gea have been going through it a bit judging by how visceral the celebrations were for both of them. Moyes absolutely dropped the ball sending on Noble – you could sense he’d muck it up.
— Alex Shaw (@AlexShawESPN) September 19, 2021
Did Moyes and Noble learn nothing from the Euro 2020 final?
— Boring James Milner (@BoringMilner) September 19, 2021
That is a decision I will never understand. Bringing on a player, even as experienced and as good a penalty taker as Noble, purely to take a penalty having not touched the ball is baffling. Same with England at the Euros.
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) September 19, 2021
Several more also pointed to Moyes’ questionable decision in bringing on Noble solely for the kick. Akin to what had occurred with England in the final of the Euros, here too the mistake could arguably be best attributed to the gaffer’s last-minute choice.
United will be lucky to take home all three points in a game where the defensive tactics were certainly pegged against them. For that matter, it is certainly unfortunate that a spell of good decisions by Moyes would be blindsided by the incorrect choice in the end.
However, it all ends with one United tied on points at the top of the Premier League table while the other introspects on a transfer saga that probably ought to have been pursued with a little more vigour.