De Gea the world's best goalkeeper, says Rio Ferdinand

De Gea wonder stop helps United earn draw at Sevilla

It was the highlight of another solid performance by De Gea, and it helped United hold Sevilla to a 0-0 draw in their first-leg match in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday.

From that spot, there was surely nothing Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea could do to keep the hosts from opening the scoring. He made a spectacular reflex stop from a close-range header by Sevilla forward Luis Muriel just before halftime.

The Colombian forward was in flawless position to score from just a few meters (yards) out but his firm header wasn't placed far enough from De Gea and the goalkeeper quickly outstretched his right arm to tip the ball over the crossbar.

De Gea joined United from Atletico Madrid in 2011, and Ferdinand admits there were players in Sir Alex Ferguson's squad at the time who were not convinced early on, with the former England defender suggesting he was among them.

In disbelief, the Colombian forward embraced the left post and closed his eyes for a few moments.

Buoyed by a boisterous home crowd, Sevilla started on the front foot, with Luis Muriel forcing De Gea into a smart stop from a low, fizzing effort from 25 yards. "I made a save and I'm happy for that".

"He moved his body well, I could have hit it in the corner but I went for power over placement and he's a great goalkeeper", Muriel told reporters.

A few moments before Muriel's header, De Gea had already been forced to tip a header by Steven N'Zonzi over the crossbar.

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But ultimately neither team could find a way through, with Pablo Sarabia wasting a good chance for Sevilla late on, giving Vincenzo Montella's men work to do in the return leg at Old Trafford on 14 March (AEDT).

In Kharkiv, Shakhtar Donetsk's South American blend proved too strong for AS Roma as goals from Facundo Ferreyra and Fred gave them a 2-1 win in freezing conditions.

It was another great defensive performance by United, which has kept nine clean sheets in its last 11 matches in all competitions.

Sevilla, a five-time Europa League victor, hadn't been held to a scoreless draw at its Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium in 62 consecutive matches in European competitions, dating back to 2005.

Against the crackling atmosphere inside Sevilla's Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, this was United's first Champions League knockout game since the David Moyes era.

Correa was consistently Sevilla's most unsafe player on the few occasions he was given the chance to run at Valencia, but after breaking into the box again he skewed his eventual effort well off target.

The Spain worldwide foiled the home side's Colombian striker Luis Muriel from point-blank range at the end of the first half not long after tipping over an overhead kick from Argentine defender Gabriel Mercado as the Spaniards created far more chances than Jose Mourinho's side. "But we have to be satisfied because it's still wide open".

Romelu Lukaku did have the ball in the back of the net in the second half, but it was ruled out for handball as United continued their wretched record against Spanish sides, having scored just seven goals in their last 15 Champions League encounters against Spanish opposition.

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