Luis Enrique demanded plaudits for David de Gea after the Spain goalkeeper’s brilliant display during Thursday’s 1-1 Nations League draw against Germany in Stuttgart.
Jose Gaya pounced deep into stoppage time to snatch a point at the Mercedes-Benz Arena after an excellent Timo Werner goal gave the hosts a 51st-minute lead.
But Manchester United goalkeeper De Gea was arguably the key to Luis Enrique’s men taking a share of the spoils.
De Gea made sharp first-half saves to thwart Thilo Kehrer, Julian Draxler and Leroy Sane, while he also denied Niklas Sule at close quarters as the game moved towards its conclusion.
A string of errors for United saw the 29-year-old end the 2019-20 season at a low ebb, but Luis Enrique believes De Gea and Spain understudy Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has endured a tough time at Chelsea, have been unfairly singled out for criticism.
“He [De Gea] has played a lot of games like this in England,” the Spain boss told reporters afterwards.
“We monitor him exhaustively, but he and Kepa are in the news if they make a mistake. They’re used to it.
“With the game he’s played we should be saying what a great goalkeeper we have.
“I’ll encourage them to not fall apart and it’s a position that I demand a lot from.
“But because the press give them such a hard time, I treat them more affectionately.
“They both know that their mistakes are more noticeable than those of other players, but they’re used to it.”
— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) September 3, 2020
Barcelona teenager Ansu Fati became the second youngest full international in Spain’s history when he came on at half-time.
Mikel Merino and Oscar Rodriguez also won their first caps from the bench, while Ferran Torres completed the whole game on his debut and the Manchester City winger’s cross led to Gaya’s equaliser.
“Ansu had a resounding debut,” Luis Enrique added.
“There are players taking their first steps with the team and they worked well.
“They’re going to play a lot more minutes. It’s nice to see that people really want it.”
Wolves winger Adama Traore is in line to become Luis Enrique’s next debutant after he was cleared to play in Sunday’s game against Ukraine, having passed medical tests following a positive test for coronavirus.
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