Not for the first time this year, De Gea put in an outstanding display at Old Trafford to help United record a 3-0 win over Liverpool on Sunday. The man of the match saved two close-range efforts from Raheem Sterling and also tipped Mario Balotelli’s fierce shot on to the bar in the second half of the Barclays Premier League encounter. Juan Mata hopes Manchester United will become less reliant on David de Gea over the rest of the season. The 24-year-old won United all three points against Everton earlier this season with two stunning late saves and he also played a key role in the team’s triumph over Southampton last Monday. Mata has been impressed by De Gea’s form this season, but he would prefer it if his compatriot was not so busy. “We won, among other things, thanks to the ‘Man of the Match’ David de Gea, who has had yet another great performance,” the United midfielder wrote on his blog. “He is in top form. Everybody’s praising him and now we have to keep working so we don’t need so many saves from him in the next few games; we have to get better in that regard.” Many questioned Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to sign De Gea in 2011 after he made a number of costly errors in his first season. But he is now regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world alongside the likes of Manuel Neuer, Joe Hart and Thibaut Courtois. “It’s tough to find anyone better than him,” Mata added. “He’s been in top form since the beginning of the season and has saved a lot of points for us. Press Association “David gives us complete confidence. Liverpool created chances and they didn’t score because of him.” The reflex save to nudge Balotelli’s powerful volley on to the woodwork from point-blank range was impressive, but the pick of De Gea’s saves came in the second half when he denied Sterling. Sterling picked up on a short backpass from Jonny Evans and attempted to round De Gea, but the Spaniard remained on his feet and jockeyed the England winger wide, forcing him into a weak shot. Former United defender Rio Ferdinand believes the former Atletico Madrid man has a psychological edge over any opponent who runs at him. “He is in imperious form,” said Ferdinand, who played 455 times over 12 years at United. “He dictated to the striker in one-on-one’s and now looks like he is in strikers’ heads if he faces them. “The way he trains is now being reflected in his performances. “Dedicated hard work and an unbelievable confidence in his ability as a keeper. Greats traits.” De Gea’s progress has not gone unnoticed by Real Madrid, who are interested in signing him as a long-term replacement for Iker Casillas. United, however, hope the player will sign an extension to his current contract, which expires in 18 months’ time. Mata, meanwhile, is refusing to get carried away despite a sixth successive win, which keeps United in third place, eight points behind leaders Chelsea. “The team has to keep working as we did in the last few weeks,” said Mata, who scored the second goal on Sunday. “That’s why we are improving. In just a few days we play against Aston Villa in a stadium with a very good atmosphere, where winning is always tough, and right after that we will be in Christmas. “We have to maintain this positive streak and try to get as many points as possible this month.” Mata acknowledged he was offside when he nodded in United’s second after a Robin van Persie flick-on. “I was fortunate to score again,” said the former Chelsea man, who has scored five times this season despite not being a regular starter. “To be honest, I watched the footage and it’s true that I’m offside after Robin’s header. That is something you don’t realise when you are on the pitch.”
While 63.1 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese according to the 2009 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, USC students are turning to physical education classes to be healthier.About 2,100 students are enrolled in physical education courses this semester, which is a 250-student increase from fall 2010 and a 200-student increase from spring 2010, according to Steve VanKanegan, director of the physical education program.Get fit · USC students participate in the Fitness for Walking class that meets every Monday and Wednesday. Steve VanKanegan, director of the physical education program, said he thinks students care about their health. – Emily Tat | Daily Trojan “Students are choosing to explore physical education not just to round out their schedules, but because they recognize the importance of being active,” VanKanegan said.He said he thinks the primary reason for the increase in the number of students enrolled in physical education classes is the quality of the instructors.“Our instructors have a complete background in the subjects they teach,” VanKanegan said. “We’re not putting [instructors] in classes unless they have played, coached or had extensive experience [in that field].”He said student desires to be healthier have been another driving force behind the department’s growth.“Students are becoming more aware of the importance of health and well-being,” VanKanegan said.Mackenzie Ross, a sophomore majoring in international relations, said she enjoys taking physical education classes at USC because they motivate her to be healthy.“Exercise is really important for being healthy and staying in shape,” Ross said. “Gym classes here are a fun and educational way to get into exercising and stay motivated.”Some students find it difficult to set aside time to work out in between class and homework, so the physical education classes make students prioritize time to exercise.“It’s really important to be healthy while you’re at school,” said Stephanie Guo, a sophomore majoring in communication. “I don’t think I’d have time to work out with the classes I’m taking, so putting it into my schedule really helps.”Josue Enriquez, a senior majoring in civil engineering, said physical education courses are a great outlet for students to relieve stress.“Taking [physical education] classes helps you de-stress from academic classes. I’ve taken many P.E. classes, [and] all the classes have been amazing,” Enriquez said.The department has recently added new classes, including surfing and table tennis, to appeal to a wide variety of students. The surfing class, which was added in the fall, was filled on the first day of registration, according to VanKanegan.The department is working to continue this growth by looking at the possibility of creating a minor in physical education, VanKanegan said. He said this minor would be attractive to students who are wishing to pursue a profession in physical therapy. So far, no steps have been taken to look further into the addition of the minor.“We believe we’re going to continue to grow for years to come because we have a talented core group of instructors, and students are realizing the importance of good health,” VanKanegan said.