Opponents smell blood against David de Gea, says Chris Sutton

De Gea on Sunday night at Old Trafford spilled the ball at Marcos Alonso's feet following Antonio Rudiger's speculative 35-yard shot.

The result means fourth-placed Chelsea are three points ahead of United with two fixtures of the season remaining, but Lukaku refused to apportion blame for their predicament on the highly-rated De Gea.

He can also forget about being named Manchester United's player of the year for the fifth time in six seasons, despite there being a dearth of alternatives.

Chelsea will now compete to qualify for next season's Champions League without the former Roma star as they prepare for a two-legged Europa League semi-final clash against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Although he still has two years remaining on his deal, the striker has had a hard time of it at Old Trafford recently.

De Gea failed to record a shut-out in 11 straight games in the 2012-13 season shortly after being deposed as Sir Alex Ferguson's first-choice by Anders Lindegaard.

Speaking to the BBC after his team's 1-1 draw against Manchester United, the Italian responded to queries on Higuain's future at the club: "In theory, yes".

"He's one of the best goalkeepers in the world and he just needs a break". "I don't think we should discredit him and say all of a sudden he's a bad goalkeeper".

"I don't have any worries about him, because he's a strong character", Solskjaer said.

Spurs' skeleton squad have understandably ran out of gas, but thanks to the profligacy of their rivals, one more win from their final two games against Bournemouth and Everton will guarantee much-needed Champions League cash again next season.

Fast-forward a couple of months and United are still in 6th place with just two games left after losing four out of their last seven Premier League games.

The Spaniard's latest error came in Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw with Chelsea.

Maurizio Sarri's men were second-best for the majority of the game and lacked the attacking impetus and determination to inflict more damage on a wounded Manchester United side.

This could certainly develop in the next few weeks.

  • Rosalie Stanley