Manchester United notched consecutive wins for the first time under Louis van Gaal on Sunday, with goals from new signings Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao handing them a 2-1 win over Everton - but there can be no doubting who the real star of the show was at Old Trafford.
Goalkeeper David De Gea not only saved Leighton Baines penalty in the first half - a regular goalscorer from 12 yards - but also pulled off two miraculous saves late in the day to deny Everton a dramatic equaliser, earning plaudits from fans and pundits alike after what was arguably his finest display in a United shirt.
How times change. De Gea was adorned by the Old Trafford faithful at full time, which couldn't be further away from when he arrived from Atletico Madrid back in 2011. Upon Edwin van der Sar's retirement, Sir Alex Ferguson needed to sign a goalkeeper - and he went for 20-year-old De Gea after he impressed in Spain.
Yet his spindly frame, poor training regime and lack of communication with his defence mean that De Gea's first season at Old Trafford was poor, with backup Anders Lindegaard regularly coming in to relieve some pressure on the Spaniard. He may be a hero now having won the Manchester United Player of the Year award last season, but De Gea has opened up on his difficult start to life at United - even admitting that he considered leaving.
"Sometimes it was difficult when you get a lot of criticism like I did," he admitted. "But I kept strong and I always tried to remain positive. I loved training. It was a great pleasure, so I just did my work and worked through it."
"Those early days were difficult for me and my family. But when you play for a big club like Manchester United it is normal when you don’t play well," he added. "Yes I am glad it happened in some ways because the criticism makes you stronger. A goalkeeper is a difficult position and you make mistakes. It is normal. But you have to be strong in your mind to get through it all and get better."