EPL

Ronaldo celebration a 'mark of respect' to idol, not mockery – Townsend

By Sports Desk October 02, 2021

Andros Townsend insists his goal celebration during Everton's 1-1 draw with Manchester United was a mark of respect towards Cristiano Ronaldo, rather than mockery.

Townsend netted a second-half equaliser as the Toffees left Old Trafford with a well-earned point.

The winger rounded off a rapid counter by the visitors in the 65th minute, latching onto Abdoulaye Doucoure's pass before drilling past David de Gea.

Townsend marked his strike with his own interpretation of the signature celebration performed by Ronaldo.

But the former Crystal Palace man says the celebration was simply a tribute to one of his idols.

"Not imitating, it's just a mark of respect to a guy who influenced my career," he told BT Sport.

"I spent many hours on the training pitch and in the video room trying to analyse his free-kicks and his step-overs and the way he dedicated 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 properly!"

For Townsend, the equaliser marked his fifth goal in nine appearances since swapping Selhurst Park for Goodison Park, as many as he scored in his final 79 appearances for Palace.

It was his third consecutive goalscoring appearance in the Premier League, a career first for the former England winger.

Related items

  • Mane: 'I will never forget my time with Liverpool' Mane: 'I will never forget my time with Liverpool'

    Sadio Mane says he "will never forget" his time with Liverpool having made a move to Bayern Munich in the recent transfer window.

    Mane joined the Reds from Southampton in 2016 and spent six successful years at the club, winning both the Premier League and the Champions League.

    And while the 30-year-old now plies his trade in the Bundesliga, he says he will always have fond memories of playing for Liverpool.

    "Honestly, I will never forget my time there," Mane told UEFA.com.

    "I learned a lot – as a man and as a football player. The supporters were amazing, the people from the city were amazing. It is a club that will stay in my heart forever.

    "It is also a legendary club – they have won everything. And also, it is the club that had all the best Champions League nights."

    Mane cited the 2019 Champions League final win against Tottenham in Madrid as a particular highlight, adding: "I remember the second goal that Divock Origi scored very well. I was over the moon at that moment. I couldn't believe it.

    "I just thought back to my childhood, when I was watching the Champions League. I found myself playing a final and, more importantly, winning it.

    "It was amazing – 2019 was an outstanding year. The celebrations, the club, you just had to be there to understand. I think over half a million people were out in the streets waiting for us to parade our trophy. It was just beautiful."

    The Senegal international has endured a mixed start to his Bayern career, scoring three in three league games to start the season but then going on a run of five appearances without a goal in all competitions before finally finding the net again in Friday's 4-0 thumping of Bayer Leverkusen.

    And he admitted his move to Germany had not all been plain sailing so far, saying: "Switching from one club to another is not easy.

    "I spent eight very nice years in England, six years at Liverpool [after] two at Southampton, and now I am in a new country. It is not easy because everything changes so suddenly, people, training, everything.

    "Everything is changing so it is not easy at all. I need to adapt. I knew that and it came as no surprise. It is happening just the way I imagined it.

    "People here are welcoming, and they're real players. People around the club are amazing so I am very happy.

    "We have a very, very young squad. It's the first time in my career that I have been part of such a young group. What really stands out to me is that they're all hungry. They all want to develop and they're attentive too.

    "Training sessions are as intense as the games. It's important as I think it makes a real difference and it shows. It’s so easy to play alongside these youngsters, who are massively talented and promising."

  • Haaland a combination of Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic, says Schmeichel Haaland a combination of Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic, says Schmeichel

    Erling Haaland shares many of the same qualities as Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to Peter Schmeichel, who has described the Manchester City man as several top strikers "put into one player".

    Haaland produced an incredible display as City swatted aside Manchester United for a 6-3 derby win on Sunday, scoring a treble and teeing up two goals for fellow hat-trick hero Phil Foden.

    The Norwegian – who has scored 14 goals in his first eight Premier League appearances – has now scored a hat-trick in three successive home league games, becoming the first player to do so in the competition's history.

    After watching Haaland tear United apart at the Etihad Stadium, Schmeichel picked out similarities between the 22-year-old and several striking legends.

    "The biggest part of a good striker is patience. I played against some of the best strikers, and when they go missing is when you really have to concentrate," the former United and City goalkeeper told BBC Radio 5 Live.

    "The Cristiano Ronaldos, the Filippo Inzaghis of this world – they disappear then all of a sudden they get the chance.

    "When you look at Haaland, you see different players. That Zlatan-like goal, and Ronaldo is in there too. You see top, top strikers in one.

    "That is why he is so dangerous. He has the luxury of seeing many top strikers and they are all put into one player."

    Haaland's dominant display on Sunday saw him become just the 25th player to record five goal involvements in a Premier League game – and the youngest to ever do so (22 years, 73 days).

    In Haaland and team-mate Kevin De Bruyne, meanwhile, City have the highest goalscorer and top assist-maker in Europe's top five leagues this season (in all competitions).

    Haaland has already found the net 17 times this season, with five of those strikes being laid on by De Bruyne, who has a total of 10 assists in 2022-23.

  • 'Zach doesn't flinch' – Saleh credits returning Wilson after Jets see off Steelers 'Zach doesn't flinch' – Saleh credits returning Wilson after Jets see off Steelers

    New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh lauded returning quarterback Zach Wilson following Sunday's 24-20 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    The Jets looked set for a third loss of the season when Steelers rookie Kenny Pickett scored two rushing touchdowns to hand the hosts a 20-10 second-half lead in Pennsylvania.

    However, the first-round draft pick threw three interceptions as the Jets had the last laugh, with Breece Hall sealing victory when he ran for a two-yard touchdown with 16 seconds remaining.

    Wilson – featuring for the first time since he suffered a knee injury in the Jets' preseason opener – was crucial to their revival, completing 10 of his 12 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown in a brilliant fourth quarter.

    Speaking after the win, Saleh hailed Wilson's ability to handle pressure, declaring: "Zach doesn't flinch.

    "I'm sure there were a couple of plays he wishes he had back. But he got us out of a lot of bad situations with his mobility. I thought he played a pretty good game, [for] his first game back."

    Wilson himself, meanwhile, was delighted by the Jets' late show, adding: "All the ups and downs of trying to overcome adversity, it was just such a good win.

    "I think there was so much growth those last two minutes as an offense, executing a drive as clean as it was and punching it in. It was just awesome

    "It's just the NFL, man. We had some good things early, we scored, then things got stalled out. 

    "My mentality is just keep doing my job, keep chipping away. That was my message and that's what everybody did. 

    "There was some frustration, but it was the right frustration. That was a cool opportunity for us to lose a lead like that and come all the way back for the win."

    Asked whether he was convinced the Jets would get over the line on their decisive late drive, Wilson added: "Yeah, 100 per cent from the beginning. 

    "I think there was no doubt in our minds, especially when I hit a couple of quick passes, we hit a couple of runs as an offense. You could just feel it."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.