Sat 13 November 2021 | 9:09

"It came naturally" Maguire defends his controversial goal celebration

The England defender opened the scoring for the Three Lions in their 5-0 thrashing of Albania.

Harry Maguire scored England's first goal in their

5-0 win

over Albania on Friday. The defender tapped Reece James' free-kick in and celebrated the goal with a knee slide followed by putting his fingers into his ears.

Manchester United legend Roy Kean fumed over Maguire's celebration after the game.

"I think he puts his hands to his ears like he's shut the critics up, but I think that's embarrassing,

" Kean said on


However, in a post-match interview, Maguire insisted the celebration was not aimed at anyone.

He told 

Sky Sports News: "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.

"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."

England secured their victory by scoring five goals in the first half. Harry Kane scored a hat-trick as the Three Lions displayed a fantastic attacking performance.

When asked about Maguire's celebration, England manager Gareth Southgate responded:

"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.

"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."

England now need only one point to secure their automatic qualification for the next year's World Cup. The Three Lions will face San Marino in their next game on Monday.

source: SportMob

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