Solskjaer refuses to blame United keeper De Gea after Everton howler

David de Gea was at fault for Everton's early opener in Sunday's 1-1 draw, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to blame his goalkeeper.

De Gea dithered on the ball for too long and was closed down by Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who stuck out a leg to divert the ball into an empty net inside the opening three minutes. (File photo)   -  Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed David de Gea following his howler against Everton and claimed a 1-1 draw was the right outcome, despite some late VAR drama at Goodison Park.

De Gea dithered on the ball for too long and was closed down by Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who stuck out a leg to divert the ball into an empty net inside the opening three minutes.

Bruno Fernandes hit back for United in Sunday's Premier League clash with his third goal in as many games, and United was thankful for the technology as it earned a point.

READ: Everton held by Manchester United after late goal ruled out by VAR

Calvert-Lewin's 92nd-minute strike deflected in off Harry Maguire but an offside Gylfi Sigurdsson, denied by a fine De Gea save just beforehand, was adjudged to have interfered with play.

Solskjaer praised De Gea for making the initial save and felt United were good value for a point, with Jordan Pickford also making a double save to keep out Fernandes and substitute Odion Ighalo.

"It was a lively end to the game - we thought we could and should have won it and then it was drama at the other end," he told BBC Sport

"David told me he gets distracted because [Sigurdsson] is there. His save to his right was fantastic - I was 100 per cent sure that would be a goal.

"Their opening goal is something that happens in football once in a while if you take too long on the ball. 

"Calvert-Lewin always chases everything and it's unfortunate that it goes in the goal. We responded and got the goal we deserved.

"One point each is what both teams deserve. We had the first half and they had the second."

Solskjaer was also pleased with the character shown by his players to respond to the early setback and extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to eight matches.

READ: Dea Gea Everton howler: Which goalkeepers have fared worse?

"It's a strange feeling, really," he said at his post-match news conference. "Of course, the start was the worst possible one and you might start to think here we go again.

"But then the reaction after that was fantastic. We played really well, got the goal we deserved, created chances, played in their half, and then we stopped playing again."

Fernandes' goal was his third in a row for United, adding to the penalties scored in the wins over Watford and Club Brugge, but the January signing is confident he can still improve.

"In the second half we created a lot of chances and the last minutes we had some chances to score and the last one with Ighalo if he scores there now we are talking about a different situation," he told MUTV.

"Also I had some shots outside of the box and I can do much better, but obviously the game goes like this.

"You are never happy when you don't win a game but obviously the game was really difficult and I think one point can be good, but three points would be much better."

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