Antony explains Coventry taunt after FA Cup semi-final scare

  • Antony cupped his ear towards Coventry players FA Cup semi-final penalty shootout
  • Erik ten Hag has defended the actions amid widespread criticism
  • Man Utd winger has now explained his gesture on social media
Antony defended his actions
Antony defended his actions / MB Media/GettyImages

Antony has admitted he felt provoked by the Coventry City players when he decided to cup his ear in their direction after Manchester United's FA Cup semi-final victory.

The Brazil winger came under immense fire for taunting the Championship outfit, who came from three goals behind to push United all the way to a penalties at Wembley. But many were quick to point out that Coventry forward Haji Wright had made a similar gesture towards the United fans earlier in the shootout.

Explaining his actions, Antony wrote on social media: "Coventry proved why they reached the semi-final. We seeked (sic) 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 defence of my club!"

Antony's reaction generated particular frustration after United captain Harry Maguire, in stark contrast to his teammate, was seen shaking hands and consoling the Coventry players afterwards.

United boss Erik ten Hag urged Antony to try replicate Maguire's behaviour in future but refused to criticise the former Ajax winger, instead arguing he was provoked by the Coventry squad.

Erik ten Hag
Ten Hag refused to criticise Antony / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

"Did you see the reaction of Harry Maguire?" Ten Hag told a press conference. "[Antony] was provoked, that's why this was a reaction of that, you haven't seen the provocation, only the reaction. But he should not do it.

"I have seen Harry Maguire straight after and others, we should acknowledge the performance of Coventry coming to that final and the comeback we are [for] 70 minutes totally dominating the game by far and 3-0 must have been the game is closed but the return from their side was very good."

Antony has netted twice in this season's FA Cup campaign but is still awaiting his first Premier League goal of 2023/24.