Douglas Luiz had to be separated from Raphael Varane after his goal celebrations backfired during Manchester United’s late winner at Villa Park.
Luiz had shimmied his shoulders at Varane when he scored an equaliser (watch video below) but was confronted by the United centre-back after Scott McTominay’s 86th-minute winner, with referee Robert Jones needing to get between the players.
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Former United captain Rio Ferdinand ridiculed Luiz afterwards by posting a photo of the celebration with laughter emojis, asking the Brazilian “U ok”?
Erik ten Hag, the United manager, had not seen the celebration but added: “I haven’t spoken to the players, maybe it’s fuelizing (fuelling), I don’t know.” The pair headed down the tunnel after the final whistle but did not acknowledge each other.
The flashpoint happened at the end of a United win where they took the lead through Rasmus Hojlund, then kept their top-four hopes alive with McTominay’s late winner. It was a rare away win for United against a team challenging at the top of the table.
“We can beat any opponent away or home but sometimes away we have to believe it more,” said Ten Hag. “We could have won in Arsenal, we deserved to win there, we could have won in Liverpool, it is about belief and this team today believed we could win.
“There are still many games to play and we have to go from game to game. There are no easy games. We have to improve our game. The first 20 minutes were very good and then when we are winning we give them the initiative. We get punished by our mentality. Keep on the front foot. We can defend very good deep but defend a goal on the counter. The spirit is there, to get the belief together winning.”
McTominay also came off the bench to score against Wolves last week and earlier in the season when he rescued a win against Brentford. When asked if he is a “super sub”, Ten Hag added: “He is but he can also start. You have to credit a player like Scott. He is an example for many players these days. There are not many players any more who are ready for every minute they can be on the pitch. Today we have seen another example. He is always ready to come on and make a difference.”