Tuesday, May 28News That Matters

Ten Hag explains why Antony mocked Coventry players after Man Utd penalty win

Erik ten Hag has provided insight into Antony’s actions following Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Coventry City, which was decided by penalties.

On a tense Sunday, Manchester United barely escaped an FA Cup upset, prevailing over Coventry in a penalty shootout.

After squandering a comfortable 3-0 lead with only 20 minutes remaining, United managed to end the match 3-3 against the Championship team at Wembley. A narrow offside decision confirmed by VAR prevented a potential last-minute winner from Coventry.

The shootout saw United emerge victorious with a 4-2 scoreline, as Rasmus Hojlund netted the decisive penalty following Coventry’s missed third and fourth shots.

Despite the win, United faced criticism for their second-half performance collapse, and Antony, in particular, attracted negative attention.

Since his £86 million transfer from Ajax in 2022, Antony has struggled to meet expectations. His post-match conduct did not help matters, as he was seen taunting the Coventry players by cupping his ears while other United players celebrated Hojlund’s successful penalty.

In contrast, Harry Maguire displayed sportsmanship by immediately consoling the defeated Coventry players instead of joining the celebrations.

In a media briefing on Tuesday before United’s upcoming Premier League game against Sheffield United, Ten Hag addressed Antony’s controversial behavior.

“He was provoked, that’s why this was a reaction of that, you haven’t seen the provocation, only the reaction,” the United boss said.

“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.

“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.”

Ten Hag reacted angrily when asked about the negative reaction to Man United’s win.

“The reaction from you [the media] was embarrassing. Twice [two FA Cup finals] in two years, it is magnificent.

“For me as manager, four cup finals in four years. The comments are a disgrace.”

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