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Antony FA Cup semi-final actions: Fans fume at Brazilian

On Sunday, 21 April, Man Utd booked their place in the FA Cup final by beating Coventry City in a dramatic semi-final at Wembley that needed a penalty shootout to find a winner. The Reds had led 3-0 until the 70th minute when a remarkable Coventry comeback began with a strike from Ellis Simms.

Antony FA Cup semi-final actions
Antony has been vilified for his actions on Sunday – Photo by Icon Sport

Just 20 minutes later, Coventry had levelled things up at 3-3 courtesy of a penalty from Haji Wright to send the game to Extra Time. The Sky Blues then thought they'd won it at the death only for VAR to chalk out Victor Torp's ‘winner'.

After five penalties, the Premier League side came out on top thanks to an emphatic strike from Rasmus Hojlund. However, it was the actions of Man Utd winger, Antony, which prompted the most headlines. The Brazilian, who was substituted on with scoreline 3-0, turned to the devastated Coventry players on the halfway line and goaded them by cupping his ears.

His actions have caused widespread anger from football fans and pundits alike who claim that the Brazilian, who didn't even step up to take a penalty, should have been more humble in victory given the circumstances of the match and how the final moments had played out.

Antony FA Cup semi-final actions: An explanation

The Brazilian has since responded to the criticism and has posted a message on his X account, explaining his actions. He said:

“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!”

Antony's claims seem to be in reference to Coventry's Haji Wright who cupped his ears to the Man Utd fans after he scored his penalty in the shootout. The defence still feels slightly weak and it didn't do anything to stop the detractors online.

Fans respond to Antony explanation

One fan posted in response: “You cost more than the entire Coventry starting XI and reserved team combined, have some shame. You think cupping your ear to a championship side is justified just because one of their players did it to your fans? Have some shame.”

Another said: “Antony literally cost £100m and is cupping his ears to a bunch of mid-table championship players who all had a better game than him.” A third added: “Antony should be absolutely embarrassed for what he did. He should have walked straight off the pitch instead of doing that.”

Even Neal Maupay offered his thoughts on the situation. The controversial striker posted: “Just for the record, not even I would do this.”


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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