By Wayne Veysey

8th Feb, 2016 | 3:12pm

Manchester United star hails his team-mate as the best in the world

By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Wayne Rooney has hailed his team-mate David de Gea as the No1 goalkeeper in the world.

The Manchester United goalkeeper produced a string of superb second-half saves to keep Chelsea at bay in Sunday’s 1-1 Premier League draw at Stamford Bridge.

United’s Player of the Year for the last two seasons could not keep out Diego Costa’s late strike but produced a magnificent reflex save in added time to prevent what would have been a fortuitous win for the home side.

De Gea was not the only outstanding keeper on display in west London, as Thibaut Courtois also had an excellent match against the dominant visiting team.

But United skipper Rooney rates his colleague as the better of the two young keepers/

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“I think David again made some incredible saves,” Rooney told the United website afterwards. “I’ve said before he’s probably been the best goalkeeper in the world in the last few seasons and, again, he made some important saves to keep it at 1-0 for a long time.

“Unfortunately, the goal at the end has got Chelsea a point. It’s a disappointing result, particularly after conceding late on, and it feels a bit like a defeat.”

United remain fifth in the Premier League table and a distant 12 points behind leaders Leicester as well as six points adrift of Manchester City in fourth place.

Number two: Rooney rates De Gea as better than Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois (pictured)

Asked why United did not see out the win against Chelsea, Rooney said: “We sat back a bit too much [late on] and the game was broken up a bit too much because, in my opinion, we were giving too many free-kicks away. We couldn’t get up the pitch and it was difficult at times because Chelsea pushed players up front.

“Overall, it was a good performance and we played some nice stuff, as we have done in the last few games. But, at this stage of the season, it’s results that matter and it was very disappointing to drop two points. The players are down at the minute after conceding late on, but we need to lift ourselves for next weekend now.

“We know there are positives to take from the performance. We’ll try to take them into the game on Saturday [at Sunderland].”