David De Gea
Manchester United's goalkeeper David de Gea makes a save during their English Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in London. REUTERS

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has lauded the improved performance of goalkeeper David De Gea after his side came from behind to rescue a point against Chelsea on Sunday.

The defending champions staged a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down to grab a share of the points at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Two Wayne Rooney penalties and a Javier Hernandez header levelled the scores after goals from Juan Mata, David Luiz and a Jonny Evans own-goal saw Manchester United go three down early in the second half.

But two stunning late saves from De Gea, who kept out efforts from Juan Mata and Gary Cahill, denied Chelsea victory and ensured Manchester United kept pace with Premier League leaders Manchester City.

De Gea has come under increased criticism since his move to Manchester United from Atletico Madrid in the summer.

The 21-year-old Spain international has failed to hold down a first-team place in recent weeks, with Sri Alex Ferguson rotating between Anders Lindegaard and De Gea.

But the Manchester United manager was impressed by the goalkeeper's performance in Sunday's game and backed the Spaniard to become the club's No.1 for the next decade.

"We know his potential, we know he's an outstanding talent and we've got to trust that," Ferguson is quoted on Sky Sports.

"We bought him on the premise that he could be our goalkeeper for 10 years and he showed that today.

"He dealt much better with all the aerial balls that came in. It's experience. He's not used to the English game; he's had some bad moments this year in terms of dealing with that type of play.

"But today, I think he's got the bit between his teeth and he's done well."