Carlos Tevez has defended his goal celebrations in Tuesday’s Manchester derby and lashed out at Gary Neville’s “disrespectful” response.
Former United striker Tevez insisted there was “nothing malicious” about the gestures he made towards the United bench after each of his two goals during Manchester City’s 2-1 Carling Cup semi-final victory over their neighbours.
But while Tevez considered his celebrations to be harmless “banter”, he was unhappy with Neville’s response – his former team-mate used an abusive gesture – particular after his former team-mate had been amongst those claiming United had made the right move in letting the striker leave.
“Gary was very disrespectful, which is out of character, but he didn’t know the whole story of why I left Manchester United and I believe I deserved his respect,” Tevez said.
“Football is a form of theatre and it was just a form of banter. There was nothing malicious intended. I was not trying to incite anyone but I was entitled to say to Neville that he should have been more respectful.
“For the second goal I ran to the touchline and cupped my ears and looked up to the part of the ground where the United directors were sitting, and also to Ferguson in the dugout, because I wanted them to know this was my response to them saying I was not worth the money.
“People from United have been speaking about me publicly and criticising me but I wanted to do my talking on the pitch because that was the best way of responding to all these people, such as Neville, who were saying United were right to let me go.”