Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea was quick to laud his side’s first trophy in six years as ‘the perfect start for a new era’.
De Gea only had to make two saves to keep a clean sheet as Manchester United eased towards a 2-0 victory against Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday evening.
The 32-year-old goalkeeper has now won eight trophies since joining United 12 years ago from his boyhood club Atletico Madrid. De Gea was the only player in United’s starting XI for this weekend’s final who has won a Premier League title for the club, earning his first – and so far only – top-flight crown in 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson’s final year before retirement.
Ferguson was at Wembley Stadium to witness Erik ten Hag end a six-year wait for silverware. The significance of the occasion was not lost on a giddy De Gea after the match. “I think it’s the perfect start for a new era,” the veteran declared.
“I think the team is ready for everything. We showed [that] today, we played a great game; 2-0 against a very good team. You see the fans now and everyone is so happy, it’s a great moment for us. So, let’s enjoy and let’s be ready again.”
De Gea extended his record tally for Manchester United clean sheets on Sunday, notching his 181st in the colours of the Red Devils as the club claimed its first trophy since the 2017 Europa League.
That season, Jose Mourinho’s side won three trophies – adding European success to the EFL Cup and the Community Shield. Ten Hag’s side are still fighting across three fronts.
After coming from behind to defeat Barcelona at Old Trafford on Thursday night, just three days before shutting down Newcastle – who are currently ranked fifth in the Premier League – United progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League, setting up an intriguing tie against Real Betis next month.
United trail league-leading Arsenal by eight points with 14 games of the campaign to go and face Premier League strugglers West Ham United in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday night.
If United’s success is to avoid becoming yet another false dawn in the post-Ferguson era and live up to De Gea’s lofty billing, then the crucial games for the club will not end at Wembley’s success.