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Harry Maguire defends goal celebration against Albania after Roy Keane criticism

Harry Maguire defended his goal celebration during England's 5-0 rout of Albania after Roy Keane labelled it "embarrassing".

Harry Kane scored a first-half hat-trick, with Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson also on the scoresheet. (Image Credit: Twitter)
By Arnab Mukherji | Nov 13, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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England defender Harry Maguire defended his goal celebration in the nation’s 5-0 triumph against Albania, after the same was termed as “embarrassing” by former Manchester United footballer Roy Keane. Maguire has been slammed for his performances for the Red Devils this season. However, he was sensational against Albania, opening the scoring inside 10 minutes, before Harry Kane scored a first-half hat-trick.

“It just came naturally to me”

“It was a great ball from Reece. We’d worked on it, we knew the areas we could exploit and credit to all the staff for doing that. I managed to direct the header into the far post and I think when you play these games, the first goal is crucial and it comes quite a lot from set-plays. We knew we’d get a lot of set-plays and we had to be clinical with them,” said Maguire in an interaction with Sky Sports News.

“The celebration was a knee slide, it just came naturally to me. It’s an amazing feeling to score for my country. It wasn’t directed at anyone, it just came naturally to do that and open the scoring for England and get the important three points,” he added.

“Don’t know what the celebration was for”

England manager Gareth Southgate was full of praise for Maguire, hailing him as a “fabulous player”.

“Is he a Hulk Hogan fan? I don’t know what the celebration was for. He’s a fabulous player, two months ago he was in the Euros team of the tournament. He’s rushed back because he’s the sort of player who has a huge conscience to help his club. You get lots of players who hide in the treatment room when pressure is on. He hasn’t done that and I have massive respect for that but you can go into matches not fully fit and you’re judged as fully fit in those moments,” he said.

“I’ve had a good chat with him this week, reminded him how important he is for us, he’s been able to switch focus and have a few days on the training pitch which has probably helped, and his performance was very good. The first half was fantastic, as well as we’ve played for a long time. It’s always difficult to maintain that when you’re so far ahead, there’s so much adrenaline just before half-time. We were still professional in the second half, but unfortunately we couldn’t give the crowd more goals. I think we’re best when we have an edge. We didn’t produce what we should against Hungary and we wanted to put that right. We had a game tonight to put us on the verge of qualification for a World Cup, it’s as simple as that,” added Southgate.

“Tonight we were too athletic, too strong and our quality with the ball in the first half – bar two or three errors which could have been more costly – the first half was very good football. We were very composed playing through pressure of the opponents and we were creative in the final third. We created more chances than we scored. We’ve got to put on a performance [against San Marino] that is aligned with how we’ve approached the whole year. I think we’re 18 games this calendar year and the one loss was on penalties, so in terms of our confidence and belief in what we’re doing during matches, we’ve been in a really good position and we’ve got to continue that,” he concluded.



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