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Gary Neville has admitted he was guilty of "slightly unprofessional" commentary after praising Hannibal Mejbri’s eventful cameo for Manchester United against Liverpool.
Hannibal was brought on as a second-half substitute in United's 4-0 defeat at Anfield on Tuesday, with the 19-year-old replacing Anthony Elanga in the 84th minute of the match.
After seeing his side concede a fourth goal, Hannibal took out Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson with a late challenge a minute later – earning himself a yellow card in the process.
He then risked a second booking just moments later with another full-blooded tackle, this time on Naby Keita.
While commentating on the match for Sky Sports, Neville said he was "proud" of Hannibal.
"To be fair, at least the kid's showing a bit of something," said Neville.
"Honestly, it takes a young kid to come on and show the rest of them how to sprint to the ball and put a challenge in.
"I’m actually proud of him. Maybe he doesn’t like the idea of Liverpool players passing round him. I wish the rest of them were the same."
Neville admitted after the match that his commentary had slightly overstepped the mark.
Hannibal Mejbri, What a cameo. pic.twitter.com/Tjp2KzKiHN— 𝗧𝗲𝗻 𝗛𝗮𝗴’𝘀 𝗥𝗲𝗱𝘀 ✍🏼🇳🇱 (@TenHagBalI) April 19, 2022
"That is why I aired on to the slightly unprofessional side of commentary tonight,” Neville said.
"When I said that the kid [Mejbri] to be fair I was proud of him because he was going round trying to top people and trying to kick people.
"But he demonstrated something, he showed something. He didn’t like the idea of Liverpool, at Anfield, passing it around him and the idea of Liverpool taking the mick out of him and his teammates."
United fans have also praised Hannibal for at least showing some energy and passion in the defeat at Anfield.
"Hannibal Mejbri a 19 year old kid came on and showed more passion and desire in 5 minutes than the rest of the team combined for the full 90," wrote one supporter on Twitter.
Hannibal Mejbri a 19 year old kid came on and showed more passion and desire in 5 minutes than the rest of the team combined for the full 90.— 𝘊𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘣⚡ (@Caleb_Mufc) April 19, 2022
I say bench these entitled, spineless individuals and play the kids for the rest of the season. pic.twitter.com/yyfE2RDQzN
Hannibal Mejbri showing these senior players how to play in a Liverpool vs Manchester United game.— UtdXclusive (@UtdXclusive) April 19, 2022
Hannibal Mejbri showed more pride and passion in five minutes last night than the rest of that Manchester United team ,he looked hungry , showed desire and fought for the badge. Was putting tackles in , for me he would start at Arsenal on Saturday, nothing to lose and he wants it— Josh Bunting (@Buntingfootball) April 20, 2022
Another added: "Hannibal Mejbri showing these senior players how to play in a Liverpool vs Manchester United game."
United return to Premier League action against Arsenal in a must-win match at the Emirates on Saturday.
United are sixth in the Premier League table, level on points with fifth-place Arsenal, having played two games more.
Tottenham are currently fourth and are three points ahead of both United and Arsenal, having played one game more than the Gunners and one less than the Red Devils.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
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