After Antony’s Man United celebration, what are the ones players will have regretted?

You know a celebration is too outlandish when Neal Maupay says so.

The Brentford striker is known for his on-pitch antics and how he winds up other players — more of that later. So, when Manchester United winger Antony cupped his ears to celebrate their FA Cup penalty shootout win against Championship side Coventry City (after United had blown a 3-0 lead in normal time of the semi-final), Maupay had something to say.

“Just for the record, not even I would do this,” the Frenchman wrote on social media.

Antony later posted and deleted an explanation of the celebration, saying that “the way our fans were treated by their player was not nice” and that he had acted “in the heat of the moment”. United boss Erik ten Hag called criticism of his team “embarrassing”.

But the Brazilian’s actions made us think about celebrations players will have regretted. Here, our writers select five of the most memorable. Suggest your own in the comments, as this is far from an exhaustive list.

Joshua Kimmich vs Sadio Mane (Champions League round of 16, February 2019)

Joshua Kimmich, what did you do?

Pumped up by a tackle he made on Mane late on during Liverpool and Bayern Munich’s Champions League round-of-16 meeting in 2019, the Germany international roared into Mane’s ear.

The Senegal winger reacted with an awkward yet cunning smile which seemed to say: “Did he really just do that?”

It contributed to Bayern earning a 0-0 draw at Anfield. What it also did was give Mane extra motivation for the second leg at the Allianz Arena.

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Kimmich and Mane later became team-mates at Bayern (Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Mane had to bide his time for revenge and got it in the sweetest way when scoring the goal that best encapsulates his Liverpool career. Kimmich, Mane’s future Bayern team-mate, could do nothing to stop him this time. That was because he was suspended after picking up a yellow card in the first leg.

But who is to say Kimmich could have done anything? Mane easily surfed around his replacement Rafinha and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer after bringing down Virgil van Dijk’s punted pass to score one of Liverpool’s greatest goals en route to Jurgen Klopp’s side lifting the trophy that June.

Caoimhe O’Neill

Steve Morrow vs Tony Adams (League Cup final, 1993)

A joke went around the playground at my school in 1993: “What’s the difference between Jesus and Steve Morrow? Jesus didn’t fall off the donkey.”

The ‘donkey’ of the joke was Tony Adams — these were less enlightened times — and the fall came during a disastrous celebration at that year’s League Cup final.

Morrow had scored the winning goal for Arsenal against Sheffield Wednesday and, after the final whistle, Adams tried to carry the match-winner on his shoulders.

Then he dropped him.

Suddenly Morrow was lying on the pitch, his arm pointing in a direction that wasn’t quite right. Out came the oxygen mask. And a stretcher. While Morrow was taken to hospital with a broken arm, Adams lifted the trophy at Wembley.

Morrow was out of action for about six months and missed Arsenal’s FA Cup final victory weeks later. He later said Adams “could be a little bit clumsy at times”.

They didn’t fall out though. A year later they played together in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final against Parma, which Arsenal won. The difference between Jesus and Steve Morrow? Jesus never won a Cup Winners’ Cup medal.

Andrew Hankinson

Sergio Ramos vs Sevilla (La Liga, January 2017)

Now he has returned to Sevilla and reconciled with fans of his home club but once upon a time, Sergio Ramos did not enjoy the best of relationships with supporters at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

Ramos came through the ranks at Sevilla before leaving for Real Madrid in 2005. That upset Sevilla fans and especially their ultras — known as the ‘Biris Norte’ — who never understood his sale and always blamed him. It led to the centre-back being whistled and jeered every time he played there as a visitor, with insults against him and his family.



Ramos v Real Madrid: Shoves and smiles as defender takes centre stage again

It all came to a head in a January 2017 encounter in La Liga, when Ramos scored a Panenka penalty for Madrid at Sevilla’s ground.

Before taking it, the south end of the Sanchez Pizjuan — where the ultras are located — called him a “son of a b****”, so Ramos confronted them after netting the penalty. First, he pointed to the name on the back of his shirt. Then he apologised to the rest of the stadium to make clear he wasn’t targeting them, before putting his hands to his ears and gesturing to the ultras to shout louder, as if he wasn’t listening.

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Ramos responds to Sevilla fans’ taunts (Cristina Quicler/AFP via Getty Images)

Ramos would leave Madrid for Paris Saint-Germain in 2021 before re-joining Sevilla on a free transfer two years later. His apology to the fans then suggested he regretted his actions.

“I have made mistakes and I want to take the opportunity to apologise in the first person and ask for forgiveness from any Sevilla fans who felt offended by gestures I may have made at the time,” he said.

“We are all in the same boat, we are all the same family and we have too many people outside the club for us to fight.”

Guillermo Rai

Neal Maupay vs Tottenham Hotspur (Premier League, January 2024)

Maupay joined Brentford on loan from Everton last summer to provide cover upfront while Ivan Toney served an eight-month ban for breaching betting rules. During his second spell in west London, he has scored important goals — but will mainly be remembered for constantly winding up opponents.

There was the bizarre incident between Maupay and goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez when Brentford clashed with Aston Villa in December, but the standout moment came when Thomas Frank’s side played Tottenham Hotspur a month later.



Neal Maupay: Royalty among Premier League wind-up merchants

Maupay gave Brentford the lead in the 15th minute and mimicked James Maddison’s darts-inspired celebration. The Frenchman continued to be a menace for the rest of the half and triggered a wave of anger from the opposition. Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou probably didn’t even bother giving a half-time team talk. The entire stadium was united in their desire to wipe the smirk off Maupay’s face.

In eight blistering minutes after the break, Spurs blew Brentford away to go 3-1 up. Brennan Johnson, who Brentford had tried to sign on multiple occasions, scored Spurs’ second goal, looked in Maupay’s direction and whipped out the darts celebration to rub salt into the wound.

Maybe in the future, he should leave the gloating until closer to the full-time whistle.

Jay Harris

Joel vs… his own stadium (Brasileirao, September 2014)

At Coritiba’s Couto Pereira Stadium, the route from the changing rooms to the pitch goes via a concrete staircase behind one of the goals — a fact you might reasonably expect Coritiba’s players to know.

But the mind can drift when the ecstasy of scoring a goal hits, as it did for striker Joel back in 2014. After netting against Sao Paulo, he leapt over the advertising hoarding and landed on… well, a big old chunk of fresh air, followed by the floor, three metres below where he expected it to be.

Brazilian football fans had a field day, adding Mario music and all sorts of other gags to the footage. Happily, Joel walked away unscathed — but you probably couldn’t say the same of his ego.

Jack Lang

(Top photos: Getty Images)

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