Manchester United forward Antony has fired back with a defiant message after being labelled a ‘clown’ by club icon Paul Scholes on Thursday night. Antony garnered mass criticism for showboating with his trademark skill move while United were drawing 0-0 with Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League.

The 22-year-old – known for his flair and creativity with the ball at his feet, as is often the case with Brazilian wingers – performed his trademark 360-degree turn in the first half at Old Trafford. He then overhit his through ball to Casemiro, resulting in an FC Sheriff goal-kick and plenty of stick on social media and by Robbie Savage on commentary.

After the game, Scholes and fellow ex-United midfielder Owen Hargreaves weren’t impressed by Antony’s decision to showboat at that stage in the game, even more so due to the result of his attempted pass. Scholes went as far as to call the number 21 a ‘clown’ for his antics, telling BT Sport: “I’m not even sure it’s skill, is it? Could we [talking to Owen Hargreaves] do that?

“Is it his trademark? I think he needs a better one. He needs to find a more entertaining way. I don’t think this country likes to see that. Does any country, even Brazil? Brazil don’t want to see that, do they? Ajax, in Holland, do they want to see that? I like to see skill, but I just don’t think that is skill or entertainment. That is just being a clown, isn’t it?”

On Friday, Antony responded to his critics with a battling Instagram post, insisting he won’t change from being the player who helped him reach one of the world’s biggest clubs. “We’re known for our art, and I won’t stop doing what brought me to where I am!” Antony wrote.

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Erik ten Hag will be used to the Brazilian’s antics down the right flank and was keen to bring them to Old Trafford, sanctioning his £85million arrival in the summer. And in his post-match press conference, Ten Hag explained he is happy for Antony to light up the pitch with skill when it is the right moment to do so.

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