Sports

Ronaldo-style celebration, a mark of respect to an idol –Townsend

There was a familiar celebration at Old Trafford on Saturday, but not from the player you might expect. Fans have seen plenty of Cristiano Ronaldo’s trademark ‘Siu’ celebration with his five goals in seven games since his return to Manchester United, most recently a 95th-minute winner against Villarreal in the Champions League.

 

But as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side returned to Premier League action against Everton, Andros Townsend couldn’t resist celebrating in Ronaldo- esque fashion as his strike earned the visitors a 1-1 draw.

 

The Toffees winger raced towards the travelling supporters before leaping in the air and landing with his arms pointed behind his back.

 

The 30-year-old insisted it was not a dig at the five-time Ballon d’Or winner – in fact, quite the opposite. “It’s a mark of respect to a guy who influenced my career,” he said. “I spent many hours on the training pitch and in the video room trying to analyse his free-kicks and his stepovers and the way he dedicates himself to football.

 

“So it wasn’t an imitation, it was a mark of respect to one of my idols. I probably didn’t do the celebration justice and didn’t execute it perfectly.”

 

The Portuguese himself had little impact after his 57th-minute introduction from the bench against the Blues. When asked why Ronaldo didn’t start, United boss Solskjaer said: “Me and him, we understand more than the experts and journalists for example.

 

“It’s about picking the right moments to play him, to not play him. He’s not a young puppy any more, but he’s as professional as ever and ready to come on and he came on today with energy and a good attitude.”

 

Andros Townsend’s second-half equaliser earned Everton a deserved point against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

 

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