London, Nov 14: Arsenal legend Ian Wright has slammed Juan Mata for his reaction to Raheem Sterling's showboating during Manchester United's 3-1 defeat to Manchester City.
During the dying minutes of the game, the English winger while trying to buy the time did fancy stepovers near the opponent's corner flag getting strenuous cheering from the crowd. But soon after the ball went out of play due to a challenge from Fellaini, Mata came forward grabbing the winger for showboating.
The words Pep Guadiola was having with Sterling at the end of the game was apparently about this. He didn't like Raheem showboating at the end of the game. I can remember Cristiano Ronaldo doing a similar thing against Arsenal many years ago. #MCIMUN pic.twitter.com/K9q4Ydfgo4— # (@R1Finesse) November 11, 2018
The incident, however, did not stretch further as the referee soon pointed out to fulltime whistle. The episode although was later slammed by many fans maintaining it was against the fair play ethics. Soon after the match, in the press conference, manager Pep Guardiola also appeared to agree with the sentiment, claiming the forward had made a mistake.
"We can avoid it, but he's young and he's going to improve," Guardiola said later.— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) November 12, 2018
Raheem Sterling's late showboating incensed Juan Mata.
It also saw his boss head straight for him at full-time.#Manchesterderby pic.twitter.com/AeEznglMZn
However, former Arsenal legend and Premier League winner Ian Wright has come forward in support of the attacker, insisting it's okay to showboat some of his skills in such crunch games and insisted midfielder Mata should have controlled his temper.
Wright also claimed that did the same thing against Tottenham Hotspur during his career with the Gunners.
"I wouldn't want it against me, but I would do it at that stage in a derby," Wright told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"I did it to Clive Wilson [against Tottenham] - I was messing around with him on the line and then I crossed it, Dennis Bergkamp scored.
"It's entertainment. We're talking about Manchester City versus Manchester United. Will Raheem Sterling get stick when he goes there [Old Trafford]? Yes. Does he know that? Yes. Is he bothered? No.
"When you've got Mata coming over… You don't come over and give someone a ticking off. You go "right", to the rest of the guys in the dressing room, "see what they just did to us? When they come to our place we've got to sort that out." You can't have a go at Raheem Sterling for doing that.
"With what Raheem Sterling's been through up to this point… Now he can't showboat in front of his own fans in the Manchester derby? It's ridiculous."
United lost the game at Etihad thanks to goals from David Silva, Aguero and Gundogan while Anthony Martial scored from the spot for them. City, currently, sit at the top of the table with 32 points after twelve game week while United are 12 points below them, loitering at the 8th spot.