The Spaniard produced a world-class save to deny Emanuele Giaccherini in the first half after Craig Gardner had put Sunderland ahead against the Red Devils at the Stadium of Light.
United eventually secured three points as 18-year-old Belgian Adnan Januzaj scored a spectacular second-half brace which ended the club’s two-game losing streak in the Premier League.
But United midfielder Cleverley heaped praise on “fantastic” De Gea.
“It was a fantastic save,” said Cleverley.
“David does things that I don’t think anybody else can do. He’s a fantastic keeper. In real-time it looked like a world-class save from where I was stood, so well done to him.”
The England international revealed the feeling of satisfaction after the reigning champions came from behind to win at the Black Cats.
“There aren’t many more satisfying feelings than coming back from behind away from home,” added Cleverley.
“We said at half-time – the lads ourselves – we can’t come away from here without three points. The manager told us to be patient, keep it tight at the back and we did exactly what he said. The goals came and they were two great finishes by Adnan. I’m really pleased for him.”
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