Antony labelled ‘classless’ and ’embarrassing’ for celebrations after Man United’s penalty shootout win against Coventry

A cruel dig or just a storm in a teacup?

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 22nd April 2024

Manchester United star Antony has been labelled “classless”, “embarrassing” and plenty worse following his celebrations after the Red Devils’ slim FA Cup semi-final win on penalties against Coventry City.

The Brazilian winger has been a divisive figure ever since he arrived at Old Trafford, with most arguing that the club have seen nowhere enough for his hefty price tag, not to mention that moments like his trademark spinning has served as little more than a meme at Man United‘s expense.

However, it’s his behaviour both on and off the pitch that has also made him an unlikeable figure this season. Being embroiled in an ongoing domestic assault case certainly has only exacerbated his public image but it was his latest viral moment against Coventry that has now irked even more people.

United managed to blow a 3-0 lead against the Championship side on Sunday, allowing the Sky Blues to push them all the way to penalties following a catastrophic 19-minute collapse (by no means the first this year), but it was Antony’s reaction after surviving the shootout that has left people countless arguing.

These are the celebrations Antony is being criticised for as United secured their place in the FA Cup final for the second year in a row.

Several supporters, Reds included, have come out to criticise the celebrations from Antony, who decided to direct his taunts towards the opposition who shone at Wembley from start to finish even after the heartbreaking twist of fate in what was a truly epic comeback.


While there has been plenty of controversy surrounding the game – Coventry’s last-minute penalty to tie the game and what they thought was the winner only for it to be ruled in a ridiculously tight offside, just to name a couple – there can be no question as to it going down as an FA Cup classic.

All that being said, despite the game being a dramatic delight for the neutral, Antony’s ear-cupping after Rasmus Højlund scored the winning penalty has left many with a sour taste in their mouth and his reputation dented even further.


The backlash on social media has been pretty vocal, with the 24-year-old branded as everything from “shameless”, “embarrassing” and “a disgrace” to “everything wrong with modern football”; one person even went so far as to label him “the most hateable player” in the sport. Yep, not a very popular bloke.

There are too many tweets to count when it comes to the debate Antony has sparked.

Although the vast majority have come out to condemn it as needless showboating, perceiving it as unnecessary salt in the wound to those already hurting in the stands, there are some dismissing the celebrations as simply part of the game.

Fan account Stretford Post wrote: “I have no issue with what Antony did, so what, he loves the game and loves to win, it’s emotional and we all let ourselves go sometimes. Accept the man’s personality and stop the agenda.”


That being said, it’s fair to say the chaotic ending to the game gave the bulk of Man United fans in the stadium and watching home much to fully celebrate given the nature of their capitulation and even some of his teammates on the pitch looked reticent to run over to excitedly to Højlund after he scored.

ln fact, both captain Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire – who went straight to commiserate the Coventry players after the final penalty – were quick to acknowledge how fortunate they were to scrape through in the end, simply boiling it down a season-defining statement: “We have to do much better”.

Maguire reiterated that the penalty decision was harsh but that the opposition deserved ‘full credit’.

Read more:

Be it naivety or just getting swept in the spirit of a crucial FA Cup final-securing penalty shootout, the celebrations by Antony haven’t gone down well with many fans or pundits.

Former United and fellow winger Lee Sharpe told talkSPORT that while his age may have been a factor, he deemed the reaction “out of order” given how close his team came to bottling it. What did you make of the moment: perfectly acceptable given the circumstances or needless and ’embarrassing’?

It will now be a Manchester derby FA Cup final for the second year running and, one thing’s for sure, Erik ten Hag’s side can’t afford to make that many mistakes against Man City.


You can watch the highlights from the frantic semi-final down below but, the better question is, which half of Manchester is going to leave with their hands on the trophy on 25 May?

It had everything this game.

For all the latest news, events and goings on in Greater Manchester, subscribe to The Manc newsletter HERE.

Featured Images — BBC Sport/@MatthewStanger (via X)