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'World class' De Gea doesn't deserve any blame after conceding 'freak goal' against Watford - Shaw

4:17 AM EST 12/23/19
David de Gea Manchester United 2019-20
The defender has backed his Old Trafford colleague to "pick himself up" after his error cost the Red Devils valuable points at Vicarage Road

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has been described as "world class" by Luke Shaw, who says "there is no way you can point any blame at him" after the Spaniard's blunder against Watford.

The Red Devils suffered a major setback in their pursuit of a top-four finish when they came up against the Premier League's bottom club at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

After a subdued first half, Watford were gifted the lead in the 50th minute when De Gea parried a weak Ismaila Sarr effort into the net, sparking wild scenes of celebration among the home supporters.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka's rash challenge on Sarr in the box moments later gave the Hornets the chance to double their advantage, and Troy Deeney duly obliged with a well-taken penalty.

United huffed and puffed for the remaining 35 minutes of the match, with substitute Paul Pogba leading the charge on his return from injury , but Watford held on for a famous 2-0 victory.

Shaw jumped to the defence of De Gea after the final whistle, insisting that his quality shouldn't be questioned after conceding a "freak goal" considering how many times he's rescued the Red Devils in the past.

“Of course, it was a freak goal,” the United full-back told MUTV .

“David has saved us so many times in so many different matches over the years he has been here. There is no way you can point any blame at him at all. 

“He is a world-class goalkeeper and I am sure he will pick himself up. 

“I am sure all of the lads will be around him. David is David. He is always happy so, hopefully, he can stay happy and focus on the game on Boxing Day.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side seemed to have turned a corner after back-to-back wins over Tottenham and Manchester City at the start of December, with the final Champions League spot coming back into view after a disastrous start to the 2019-20 campaign.

However, the defeat at Watford combined with last week's 1-1 draw at home to Everton has brought the Red Devils crashing back down to earth ahead of a Boxing Day clash with Newcastle at Old Trafford.

Shaw has called on his team-mates to raise their game when the Magpies arrive in Manchester, with United's performance levels against the lesser teams in the top-flight still a real cause for concern.

“It is a good team and we will prepare now for that game because we need to win that game,” Shaw added.

"The wins against Spurs and City were great but now they seem pointless with the last two results we've had, because we need to be beating the teams below us as well. We haven't done that.

“We need to be better and we know we need to be better. We will work on the training pitch and hopefully have a good Boxing Day.”