Antony fires back at Scholes criticism, as Neymar piles in on bizarre Man Utd debate
Antony has hit back at recent criticism he received from the likes of Man Utd legend Paul Scholes, while Neymar has weighed in on a truly bizarre debate.
Talking points were aplenty during Manchester United’s comfortable 3-0 victory over Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday night.
The Red Devils cruised toa 3-0 victory against the Moldovan side thanks to goals from Diogo Dalot, Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Whether the latter would start was a pre-match talking point after his recent disciplinary breach against Tottenham.
Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute against Spurs, prompting Man Utd and Erik ten Hag to axe him from the squad to face Chelsea.
The air was subsequently cleared and showing his leadership skills, Ten Hag quickly brought Ronaldo back into the mix and afforded him a start on Thursday.
Elsewhere, Antony courted headlines when displaying his trademark ‘Antony spin’.
The Brazilian winger has made a lively start to life at Old Trafford following his £86m move from Ajax.
The tricky winger was clearly in a good mood mid-way through the first half when completing two full revolutions with the ball glued to his left foot while unmarked.
The flashy trick was more for show and did prompt a reaction from the crowd. However, given Antony then passed the ball straight out of play, the reaction post-match was predictably glum.
Scholes, Ten Hag reaction to ‘Antony spin’
Paul Scholes led the way, claiming Antony’s flamboyance needs “knocking out of him” while analysing the moment on BT Sport. He also claimed Ten Hag’s bewildered reaction suggested the manager wasn’t best pleased either.
Ten Hag subbed Antony off at half time, though refuted the notion his decision was due to the ‘Antony spin’.
The 21-year-old has now fired back at the criticism he’s received on Instagram.
Via the Manchester Evening News, Antony wrote: “We’re known for our art and I won’t stop doing what got me to where I am!”
That sentiment echoes Antony’s comments soon after joining Man Utd. The skilful forward insisted tricks and flicks have always been a part of his game and he won’t change for anyone.
Brazilian teammate, Neymar, has also weighed in on the Antony debate.
Also taking to Instagram, the PSG superstar urged Antony to ignore the critics and continue expressing himself.
“Keep it up, nothing changes! Go for it boy. Boldness and Joy,” wrote Neymar.
Man Utd debate much ado about nothing
At the end of the day, the ‘Antony spin’ really should not be the talking point it has become.
Sure, Antony did not beat his marker and ultimately passed the ball out of play. The lack of “function” in the skill was what rankled Scholes’ fellow pundit Owen Hargreaves the most.
However, the trick did seem to lull the closest Sheriff defender into a false sense of security. The marker stood still rather than attempting to make a challenge and after dropping his guard, Antony was able to shift the ball quickly to his left and play an incisive through ball into the box.
Ultimately, his pass was overhit and flew harmlessly out of play, but there is a case to be made the passing lane opened up due to Antony’s trick causing the defender to lower his guard and stand square.
Regardless, Antony did not lose the ball in a dangerous area such as his side’s own half, and Ten Hag was keen to stress it was not a factor in the half time hook.
Clearly, the minor piece of showboating is not the controversy some would have you believe.
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