Leave De Gea alone! Owen blasts 'harsh' criticism of United keeper's Anfield show
Manchester United striker Michael Owen has launched a defence of team-mate David De Gea after the Spanish goalkeeper came in for criticism following the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool in the FA Cup fourth round at Anfield.
De Gea was criticised for Liverpool's two goals, failing to claim the ball when Liverpool defender Daniel Agger shot past him and then unable to get a touch on Dirk Kuyt's rising shot for the late winner.
But Owen has defended De Gea against criticism by TV pundits and from fans on Twitter.
No man's land: David De Gea was helpless to prevent Daniel Agger (top right) heading Liverpool's opening goal against Manchester United on Saturday
Owen wrote on his Twitter account: 'One comment on yesterdays game. Don't agree with all this negativity towards De Gea.
'Admittedly he has made a couple of mistakes this season but listening to some people you would think he had a nightmare yesterday.
'I'm not having either goal was his fault. The problem is, once you get labelled, mud sticks and now any tiny mistake is magnified. Other keepers make similar mistakes and nothing gets said.
'The ball was on the 6 yard box for the first goal. He has to go for it. He also needs to watch the flight of the ball. There is then 6 players in front of him. There is nothing he could do. The free header was the problem, not the keeper.
'He couldn't do much with the second goal either. Is the problem not just a case of us not winning the first ball and not picking up a runner
Blame game: Michael Owen insists United's defence was at fault in allowing Agger a free header, not De Gea (right) for coming off his line
'In my opinion two bad goals to give away but to blame everything on the keeper is totally wrong. The lad will be a top keeper, he is only young. Harsh to blame him for everything.
'Must say, as you will be quick to remind me, I've watched a lot of home games this season! The support from behind both goals for him has been brilliant.
'The fans know he needs their support, his confidence needs boosting. I'm sure he will repay that support for years to come.'
Owen, who is currently out of the United side with a thigh injury, added: 'Apart from that, well done to Liverpool. We will dust ourselves down and go full steam ahead for the league.'