Man Utd star defends Antony after controversial skill – ‘Just part of his game’

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Diogo Dalot has defended Antony after the Manchester United was criticised for his piece of skill in United’s 3-0 win over FC Sheriff on Thursday.

Given time by the opposition, Antony did a pirouette with the ball glued to his instep, before attempting to play a through ball to Casemiro.

He overshot the pass, hitting it straight out of play, leading to criticism from Robbie Savage on commentary for BT Sport and groans from some of the United fans.

But his teammate insists it’s just “the way he plays” and is sure they will benefit from his “technique” in the future.

“He wants to entertain – it’s part of the way that he plays,” Dalot told Football Daily with a smile on his face. “He gets a little bit more time on the ball when I open up space with runs.

“But we’re happy to have Antony with us as he is a fantastic player. I’m sure his technique and his dribbling will help.

“There is always going to be talk after a mistake. He missed the pass but if the pass went through Casemiro was in a good position to receive the ball and probably assist or score a goal.

“I don’t think we should focus too much on what he did, it’s just part of his game. We’re happy to have a player like him.”

United legend Paul Scholes called it “ridiculous” but Ten Hag, who went onto take the Brazil international off at half-time, is happy for such expressions of skill if it’s “functional”.

“I don’t have a problem with that as long as it’s functional,” he said.

“Also from him I demand more – more runs behind, more often in the box, more followers in and more tempo dribbles, especially, and more playing in the pocket.

“So, we demand more dominance in this game and when there is a trick like that, it’s nice.

“As long as it’s functional, if you’re not losing the ball and you’re attracting players, then it’s OK.

“But if it’s a trick because of a trick, then I will correct him.”

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