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United analysis: Pat Jennings on Lloris, De Gea and his goal at Old Trafford almost 50 years ago!

Posted on 10 December 2016  - 12:45

Pat Jennings will always be remembered as one of the all-time goalkeeping greats - and the goalkeeper who scored a goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford almost 50 years ago! However, it wasn't the past we were interested in talking to the Spurs legend about this weekend, but very much the present as Hugo Lloris and David De Gea go head-to-head on Sunday. Okay, we mentioned the goal as well...

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Pat Jennings

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590 appearances for Spurs, 1964-77
FA Cup (67), League Cup (71, 73) and UEFA Cup (72) winner
Football Writers' Footballer of the Year in 1973
PFA Player of the Year in 1976
Won a then world-record 119 caps for Northern Ireland
Remains an Academy coach and regular at the training centre, aged 71

Pat on Hugo

"You only have to look at the recent game against Monaco, he made some unbelievable saves that night, absolutely world-class. I don’t think I’ve seen a better save than the one from point-blank (from Glik) that he somehow pushed over the top. It was how he got his hands up so quickly, let alone getting rid of the ball! That was absolutely brilliant. Just picking saves out, the one he made against Bayer Leverkusen as well, brilliant. You had to watch that one on television again to realise how good it was."

Below: Hugo's incredible save at Bayer Leverkusen

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'No weaknesses'

Pat: "I admired Hugo all the way back to when the Republic of Ireland played them in qualifying for the World Cup, the Henry handball (2009), the way he’d come out and get crosses under pressure. I was impressed and that was way before he joined Spurs. With Hugo it's his all-round ability, his agility, reading of situations and he's lighting off his line. There are no weaknesses in his game."

Pat on De Gea

"When he first arrived in the Premier League the talk was if he’d be strong enough but I always felt it was just a matter of him getting games under his belt and getting used to the pace of the game in the Premier League. Again, his shot-stopping is excellent and he's had to make his saves in the last couple of seasons. I'd be happy with either in my team but I wouldn't swap Hugo for anyone."

Below: David De Gea

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Pat on United

"When you look at United, some of the games they should have won easily in terms of efforts at goal. Look at Burnley, the goalkeeper Heaton had a worldy that day. United are better than the results show. Jose Mourinho is still trying things out, players are coming back into the team. They are all good players. It's great to see Toby Alderweireld back again, that's a big thing for us head of this game. We've done well considering the players we've had out."

Below: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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Pat on Zlatan

"There is no doubt Ibrahimovic has been a fantastic buy for United, just look at the goals he’s scored already. He’s a real handful and scores all sorts of goals, headers, both feet, he’s obviously a class player."

Finally, that goal!

Pat stunned United when he scored in the Charity Shield at Old Trafford on August 12, 1967. The game ended 3-3 but the talk was all about Pat's goal, a clearance forward that bounced over United goalkeeper Alex Stepney and home.

Pat: "It was a free-kick outside our box. Dave Mackay was going to take it but I said ‘leave it to me’. I was aiming for Alan Gilzean and Alex Stepney, the United goalkeeper, came out a little probably expecting a flick on. But it missed Gilly, bounced once and ended up in the net. Everyone there thought ‘what next?’ Even the famous commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme took a moment before saying ‘Jennings has scored’. Mackay even tried to claim an assist! It was such a rarity then."