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David De Gea Had Sheet Containing Villarreal Penalty Takers And Their Favoured Side, Still Didn't Save Any Penalties

Josh Lawless

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David De Gea Had Sheet Containing Villarreal Penalty Takers And Their Favoured Side, Still Didn't Save Any Penalties

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea had a sheet containing all the key information regarding Villarreal's penalty takers - but still failed to save a single spot-kick in the Europa League final penalty shoot-out defeat.

21 penalties were scored consecutively were scored by both teams before De Gea saw his effort saved by Geronimo Rulli - the Argentine following up a stunning spot-kick strike by securing Villarreal's first ever trophy with the stop.

De Gea has been heavily criticised for not getting anywhere near a number of the penalties as he continued a wretched record from 12 yards.

Image: PA
Image: PA

And it's emerged that the former Atletico Madrid man had a piece of paper in his towel containing important details on the opposition's takers.

The sheet had the names of Villarreal players such as Dani Parejo, Raul Albiol and Francis Coquelin - as well as their favoured foot and style of run-up.

This sort of research is not exactly new when it comes to penalties.

Jens Lehmann famously had a "cheat sheet" from his shin-pads for every Argentina penalty he faced in Germany's World Cup quarter final, while Jordan Pickford's water bottle helped him become England's hero against Colombia in 2018 in Russia.

But De Gea did not have the same level as success and abandoned the advice when it became "sudden death".

Some of Villarreal's takers, including the likes of Gerard Moreno and Dani Raba changed their approach and went the opposite way to what De Gea was expecting.

De Gea did guess right and got a hand to Paco Alcacer's penalty, but the power beat him. He also went the same way for Alberto Moreno's but the shot was well-placed.

Coquelin was listed as going "central" on the note but the former Arsenal man actually put his penalty in the top right corner.

Incredibly, De Gea has now failed to save any of the last 40 penalties he has faced with club and country - his last save coming against Romelu Lukaku in April 2016.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Substitute goalkeeper Dean Henderson has saved eight of 19 penalties he's faced in his career and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he did consider bringing him on for the shoot-out.

"You go through every scenario, of course, and it [bringing on Henderson] had crossed my mind in the build-up to the game, but we were confident in David and prepared," Solskjaer said after the defeat.

"Anything can happen in a penalty shootout, so I stuck with the keeper who had played all of the game."

Louis van Gaal infamously put Tim Krul on for penalties against Costa Rica in 2014 and it paid dividends for the Netherlands.

Topics: David De Gea, Football, Europa League, Villarreal

Josh Lawless
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