Rafael van der Vaart slams ‘annoying’ Man Utd star Antony | Football


Rafael van der Vaart criticises Antony in Manchester United defeat

The Dutchman was not impressed with the former Ajax winger (Pictures: Getty / NOS)

Former Tottenham star Rafael van der Vaart has added his voice to the criticism of Antony’s performance in the Manchester derby – though for very different reasons to his fellow pundits.

Manchester United shipped four first-half goals in a dreadful defensive performance at the Etihad Stadium, with both Erling Haaland and Phil Foden completing their hat-tricks in the second period.

The Red Devils did manage to net three goals of their own – two of which came very late in the day – though in truth the 6-3 scoreline flattered the visitors.

Antony delivered a mixed performance, showing flashes of the attacking ability that convinced Erik ten Hag to spend £85million on him and scoring a stunning long-range effort that curled beyond Ederson into the far corner.

However, he also came under fire from both Arsene Wenger and Paul Scholes who felt he had not done enough defensively and left Diogo Dalot – who was on a yellow card from the second minute – exposed.

Former Real Madrid attacking midfielder Van der Vaart was also far from impressed with what he saw from Antony, though his frustrations stemmed from what the Brazilian did when he had the ball at his feet.

Rafael van der Vaart criticises Antony after Manchester United defeat

Antony got on the scoresheet with a super strike (Picture: Getty)

‘Have you seen Antony play today? He scored a world-class goal,’ began the former Netherlands international during a Sunday evening football show on Dutch TV station NOS.

‘But with every pass he received he kept holding the ball underneath his feet while being 4-0 down. That would annoy the hell out of me!’

Wenger, meanwhile, highlighted Antony’s lack of defensive work rate – as well as that of Jadon Sancho, who was on the opposite flank – and feels that was a key battle which United lost by some margin.

Speaking on beIN Sports, he said: ‘From the first minute on Diogo Dalot got a yellow card and Sancho and Antony did not contribute defensively.

‘They were, in the whole half, flooded on the flanks and they were always in trouble. After that, when they had the ball, I felt they were obsessed by respecting too much the game plan.

‘They wanted always to go too quickly forward and lost so many balls and didn’t have enough possession. They didn’t play for possession, they wanted just to get on the counter-attack.’

United legend Scholes appeared to echo that sentiment with a pointed message on Instagram after the match, uploading a photo of Ryan Giggs and David Beckham alongside the caption: ‘Anyone remember when wingers used to help their full-backs?’


MORE : Paul Scholes slams two Manchester United stars after Arsene Wenger’s criticism


MORE : Gary Neville says Manchester United star’s career is ‘going to be short-lived’ under Erik ten Hag

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