Paul Scholes slams ‘clown’ Antony after showboat in Man Utd’s Europa League win over Sheriff

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The former Manchester United midfielder was not impressed by Antony’s skill in the first haf at Old Trafford.

Paul Scholes has claimed Antony was ‘being a clown’ in Manchester United’s 3-0 Europa League win over Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday.

The Brazilian performed a 360 spin in the first half, a move that sees the ball remain stationary while the player rotates in a circle, but Antony then proceeded to pass the ball straight out of play. The showboat did seem to irk Erik ten Hag, who claimed after the match that he had no issue with a skill as long as it is ‘functional’, but vowed to ‘correct it’.

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Antony was also withdrawn at half-time with some suggestions this may have been the result of his needless showboat, although Ten Hag seemed to imply in an interview with BT Sport that the decision was pre-planned.

However, speaking on the same channel after the game, Scholes opined that the needless loss of possession may have influenced the United manager’s choice. “I think it would have had a little bit of something to do with it,” said the former midfielder. “I think you saw his reaction on the bench, I think it frustrated him. I just don’t know what it achieves.

“This crowd, and me, I love a bit of showboating, a bit of entertainment. But does that do anything for anybody? Does it do anything for himself? We’ll have to ask him. I don’t know what it achieves, but even the first 35, 40 minutes, he did nothing all game. Even if you’re 4-0 up, what does that do for you?

“I’m not even sure it’s skill,” Scholes added. “I think we could all do that. I don’t think that’s skill or entertainment, that’s just being a clown.”

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United won 3-0 on the night thanks to goals from Diogo Dalot, Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo, and the comprehensive win ensured the Red Devils progressed to the knockout stages. It also means a two-goal win in the final group game next week against Real Sociedad would guarantee United progress immediately to the last-16 of the competition.

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