Micah Richards jumps to Maguire’s defence after Roy Keane’s celebration rant

Micah Richards has jumped to Harry Maguire's defence after the England defender's goal celebration was criticised by Roy Keane during a rant by the Irish pundit.

The Manchester United defender scored the opening goal as the Three Lions romped to a comfortable 5-0 win over Albania at Wembley on Friday night.

The result put Gareth Southgate's side on the brink of qualification for the World Cup in Qatar next summer, with just a point needed from the final qualifier away to San Marino on Monday.

However, Maguire was labelled "embarrassing" by Keane for cupping his ears in celebration after scoring his fifth international goal.

Richards took to Twitter to defend Maguire, though, as he wrote: “People: Footballers are like robots, they have no personality!

“Harry Maguire. Scores the opening goal for his country, celebrates with real passion whilst referencing those who have been criticising him.

“People: That’s embarrassing.”

The former Manchester City and England defender also included a confused gif as he aimed a subtle dig at his fellow Sky Sports pundit Keane.

Keane had ripped into Maguire at half-time of the match while he worked as part of ITV's coverage of England's final home qualifier.

Was the criticism of Harry Maguire's celebration too harsh? Let us know in the comments section below.

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"When a player scores [and] puts his hands to his ears he's like shutting the critics up, I think that's embarrassing," exclaimed Keane.

“He's been a disgrace to Man United. He thinks he scores there [and] he's shut his critics up, embarrassing."

The former United captain has been one of Maguire's harshest critics so far this season due to the Red Devils' slow start to the season and branded the 28-year-old an "absolute disgrace" after the 5-0 loss to Liverpool last month.

Maguire himself addressed the celebration after the match and revealed that it had not been directed at anyone in particular.

“No, it wasn’t directed at no one, it was a knee slide, I obviously put my hands on my ears," revealed Maguire.

“I’m Manchester United captain, of course, I’m going to get criticism when the team isn’t doing well. I fully expect that but it wasn’t directed at anyone.

“Scoring for your country is a great feeling. The first goal in a crucial qualifier, we knew how important the game was… how important the first goal was.”

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