Garth Crooks says Manchester United won thanks to David de Gea

David de Gea helped Manchester United to a victory over Watford.

David de Gea was the main reason Manchester United secured all three points against Watford, pundit Garth Crooks has told The BBC.

Manchester United won 2-1 at Vicarage Road through a late goal, with Troy Deeney turning a Bastian Schweinsteiger effort into his own net.

In the second half as Watford piled on the pressure, De Gea really stepped up with a number of key saves.

Crooks said: "Since his return to first-team action he has been superb, and was the only reason Watford came away from Vicarage Road empty handed. [Keeping him was] The best bit of business United have done for years."

Real Madrid had attempted to sign De Gea in the summer, only to fail as the paperwork was not submitted on time, as The BBC reported back in September.

  MatchSavesMins Played
David de Gea Southampton vs Man Utd 6 90
David de Gea C. Palace vs Man Utd 5 90
David de Gea Watford vs Man Utd 4 90
David de Gea Man Utd vs Sunderland 4 90
David de Gea Everton vs Man Utd 3 90
David de Gea Arsenal vs Man Utd 2 90
David de Gea Man Utd vs Liverpool 2 90
David de Gea Man Utd vs Man City 1 90

The saves were vital to United's win, and the joint third highest in a Premier League game he has needed to produce this season so far, which at just four, is testament to the Red Devils' mean defence.

De Gea even signed a new contract after his move to Madrid fell through, and with United sitting second in the table, the dream of ending the season with a title winner's medal is still very much possible. 

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch