MOURINHO HAILS DE GEA

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MOURINHO HAILS DE GEA

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho labelled goalkeeper David de Gea as the best in the world after the Spaniard equalled an English Premier League soccer record during his side’s exhilarating 3-1 victory at Arsenal on Saturday night.

MOURINHO HAILS DE GEA

De Gea made 14 saves — several of them exceptional — as Arsenal threw everything at United after conceding twice in the opening 11 minutes in a sizzling clash at the Emirates Stadium.

“I told him after the match, what I saw today was the best from a goalkeeper in the world. You need the keeper to be there for you when the team needs him,” Mourinho, whose side closed the gap on leaders Manchester City to five points, said.

De Gea saved twice in quick succession from Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac shortly before half-time and somehow kept out United striker Romelu Lukaku’s miskick when trying to clear from a corner.

After the break he continued to thwart Arsenal’s best efforts, making an astonishing double save to first keep out Alexandre Lacazette’s shot, then stuck out his leg to deny Alexis Sanchez from point-blank range.

The only other goalkeepers to make so many saves in a Premier League match are Tim Krul for Newcastle United (v Spurs in November 2013) and Vito Mannone for Sunderland (v Chelsea in April 2014).

“De Gea was man of the match by a clear mile,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

Two goals from Jesse Lingard and one from Antonio Valencia earned United the victory — Mourinho’s first away against a top-six club since he arrived at Old Trafford.