Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino has sympathy for Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea

Spanish keepers find the physicality of the Premier League hard to adapt to

New Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino believes goalkeepers have a much harder job in England than they do in Spain.

Manchester United's David de Gea once again found himself in the spotlight during his side's 2-1 win at Old Trafford.

De Gea was partially responsible for Jay Rodriguez's early goal, part of another jittery performance during which he also nearly spilled a Rickie Lambert free-kick at the feet of Adam Lallana.

"It is clear to me that any free-kick near to the box, or a corner, presents a goalscoring opportunity," he said.

"That doesn't happen as much in the Spanish league.

"Also, the goalkeeper in Spain is a bit more protected than here. That makes their job here a lot harder."

At least for Southampton's goal, De Gea has been absolved of blame by Michael Carrick, whose weak backpass put the former Atletico Madrid man in trouble.

"Michael's pass-back was a bit soft and Michael held his hand up - it's great to see that, honest players like Michael saying 'Sorry boss, sorry lads'. It's great," said Ferguson.

That De Gea's woes did not prove fatal was thanks to Wayne Rooney's brace and a backs-to-the-wall defensive effort after the break, which Southampton virtually dominated.

Although Robin van Persie had a header brilliantly saved by Artur Boruc and what appeared to be a legal goal disallowed for offside, it was the Saints who carried by far the most threat.

"In the second half Southampton produced the best performance anyone has done here this season," he said.

"They pushed right on top of us and didn't give us time to settle.

"But my experience of this club, when you are going for championships, is that there are always games where you can say we were a bit lucky.

"That was one of those nights."

Pochettino agreed that his side could count themselves unfortunate to get nothing to assist them in their relegation fight, having tried to exploit some uncharacteristic nervousness in home ranks.

"We did notice that," he said.

"In the second half we were dominating the game and taking the game to them.

"We were just a bit unlucky in front of goal. We should have scored at least one.

"But, especially going forward, the way we played in the second half was the way we want to continue playing."

PA

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