Manchester United ground staff have been up all night searching the Old Trafford pitch for David De Gea’s lost contact lens, Paddy Power News has learned.
The Spanish goalkeeper curled up into a foetal position for Arsenal’s controversial opener on Thursday night, and it was assumed this was due to Brazilian midfielder Fred’s attempt to break his ankle, but it has emerged that one of his lenses fell out during the penalty area melee which led to Emile Smith-Rowe’s early strike for the visitors.
As De Gea lay stricken on his goal-line with his back turned away from the action, on-lookers assumed that match referee Martin Atkinson would rule out Smith-Rowe’s goal because keepers usually get a free out if they break a finger nail.
But VAR decided that because the official didn’t blow his whistle until after the ball had entered the net and the goal stood.
“David was seething at half-time”, a club spokesman told us. “He couldn’t believe it – especially as Specsavers offered him 2-for-1 on them but he went for the cheaper option.”
And his mood wasn’t helped when he told Atkinson what had happened.
“The ref just told him he could borrow his varifocals for the second-half if he wanted.”
The Spanish stopper has seen an upturn in form this season after his place came under threat from Dean Henderson last year.
“Not many people outside of the club were aware that he uses contacts – the club insisted he get his eyes tested when he was chucking them in a couple of seasons back. It’s made a huge difference.”
“Though he was basically playing with one eye last night for the second half. Tells you how sh*te Arsenal were.”
A dishevelled looking head of ground maintenance at the Theatre of Dreams this morning, told our correspondent that it had been a tough 12 hours.
“We’ve had a bloody nightmare out there and we have practically turned over every blade of grass to try and find it.
“Even Michael (Carrick) got involved and that was just an hour after telling the lads he was off which shows the measure of the man.”
As the rest of Manchester was tucked up in their beds on a freezing cold evening, the Head Groundsman explained to us that he took one last throw of the dice.
“As a last resort we called Mackenzie Crook from The Detectorists in and asked if his metal detector would be any use, but all he managed to turn up were a couple of cheap toys from a Kinder surprise and what looks like one of Paul Pogba’s missing earrings.”
The search continues…
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