Aaron Ramsdale gave a much improved display for Sheffield United despite their 1-0 defeat to Manchester City.
The Blades remain bottom of the table following their 16th defeat in 20 Premier League matches this season.
But they can take positives from the loss at the Etihad Stadium – particularly the form of Ramsdale.
The goalkeeper could do nothing about Gabriel Jesus’ ninth minute goal, but produced a superb save late on to deny a second from the Brazilian.
This was after Ramsdale had made two saves in quick succession from a corner to stop Oleksandr Zinchenko and then Aymeric Laporte.
It was a confidence-boosting performance from the 22-year-old, who has received plenty of criticism since rejoining United last summer.
Manager Chris Wilder has defended Ramsdale throughout and hit back at the ‘keeper’s critics.
“Aaron Ramsdale makes two brilliant saves to keep us in it,” Wilder told BBC Radio Sheffield after the game.
“I’m going to be consistent about this. It’s the world we live in, instant judgement on players and instant judgement on teams.
“Aaron’s a big boy, he understands what football’s about, he understands the Premier League.
“I’m delighted that he’s made those saves. He’s a young ‘keeper and it’s been tough for him, but he’ll be OK.”
Good signs for Ramsdale at Manchester City
The England Under-21 international has certainly made mistakes since coming back to the club from Bournemouth.
Ramsdale isn’t helped by the fact he is being directly compared to Dean Henderson, following his two successful years on loan at Bramall Lane.
The stopper himself recently admitted he needed to improve his performances.
Yet at times that criticism has clearly gone too far, with online trolls abusing Ramsdale after games.
Wilder has always backed his goalkeeper, keeping faith when many – including on this site – calling for him to be dropped.
Ramsdale’s display at Man City shows the Blades boss probably made the right call.
It is important to remember the ‘keeper is young and needs to be given the chance to make errors while learning and developing.