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Alejandro Garnacho gets stick off Man Utd coach for overhead kicks in training

Manchester United winger Alejandro Garnacho was getting an earful from assistant coach Benni McCarthy about attempting overhead kicks in training just the day before scoring one of the goals of the season against Everton on Sunday.

Garnacho opened the scoring in the 3-0 win over the Toffees at Goodison Park in spectacular fashion after just three minutes, connecting with Diogo Dalot’s deep cross towards the far post.

The 19-year-old went airborne to reach the ball that was otherwise flying past, hooking his foot around and sending it flying into the top corner of Jordan Pickford’s net.

He might never score a better goal, but the fact it went in might embolden Garnacho to try it even more often in training. That’s because he was practising the skill as recently as the day before the game, albeit to the frustration of United coach McCarthy.

“To be honest, [on Saturday] the forwards were training with Benni McCarthy and he was complaining about Garnacho: ‘He doesn’t head the ball…back post, you just want to do bicycle kicks!'” Dalot revealed to the Premier League’s Matchday Live show.

“He showed [McCarthy] that he can do it and it was fantastic for him,” the full-back joked.

Alejandro Garnacho

Alejandro Garnacho took flight at Goodison Park / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Although it didn’t mean quite as much as Wayne Rooney’s iconic winner in a 2011 Manchester derby, the strike was cleaner – Rooney famously ‘shinned’ his – making Garnacho’s a technically better goal.

Ex-United captain Gary Neville was covering the game as a co-commentator for Sky Sports and admitted afterwards: “I’ve not seen a goal as good as that from an overhead kick.

“I was there the day that Rooney scored against Manchester City and that was an amazing goal at that point in the game. Today, I just felt like that was something I’d not seen before. What struck me is the fact that he had to move away [from the goal to reach the ball]. He moves his feet quite quickly and all of a sudden just throws himself in the air.

“I played football at a professional level for a long time [but] I can’t do that – and I’m not talking about the overhead kick – actually getting into the air to make contact with the ball. I’d break my neck and most players wouldn’t know how to do that. That’s gymnastics, not football.”


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