Under-fire Antony breaks silence

ANTONY has broken his silence on his controversial FA Cup semi-final celebration in a tweet claiming he was defending his club.

The Brazilian drew the ire of footie fans around the world for his antics after Manchester United’s shootout victory over Championship outfit Coventry City.

And he’s sensationally claimed he cupped his hands to his ears after Rasmus Hojlund’s winning pen in response to the actions of some Sky Blues stars during the shootout.

He wrote on X: “Coventry proved why they reached the semi-final. “We seeked this spot in the final for our fans and we achieved.

“The way our fans were treated by their player was not nice and I, in the heat of the moment, I’ve reacted to the provocations in a natural defense of my club!”

The £85million man’s actions were put to manager Erik ten Hag during his pre-match press conference on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s visit of Sheffield United. And the Dutchman sensationally defended his player’s actions.

Initially deflecting by pointing towards the response of Harry Maguire, who graciously went over to shake the Coventry players’ hands, Ten Hag said: “Did you see the reaction of Harry Maguire?”

Then addressing Antony’s actions, he added: “He was provocated (provoked).

That’s why this was a reaction of that, you haven’t seen the provocation, only the reaction. “But he should not do it. “I have seen Harry Maguire straight after and others, we should acknowledge the performance of Coventry coming to that final and the comeback.”

Antony’s antics were lambasted by several former and current pros, including Brentford’s Neal Maupay. Maupay, who has branded himself the Premier League’s “most disliked player” took to social media to share a clip of Antony’s post-match antics. His accompanying caption read: “Just for the record, not even I would do this.”

United booked their place in next month’s final at Wembley with a narrow 4-2 shootout victory over the Championship play-off hopefuls. Ten Hag’s troops threw away a three-goal lead in the second half and escaped major embarrassment when Victor Torp’s extra-time strike was ruled out for offside. The former Ajax boss said of the near-fatal collapse: 

“We are 70 mins totally dominating the game by far.And 3-0 must have been the game is closed. But the return from their side was very good.” – Sun

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