We’ve seen it more and more in recent years as in a mark of respect, former players have refused to celebrate against their old club. Arsenal ace Henrikh Mkhitaryan was no different.
The Armenian playmaker left Man Utd in January to join the Gunners, and he marked his return to Old Trafford on Sunday with a well-taken goal.
However, there was no real celebration, despite the best efforts of Granit Xhaka to get them going as he looked delighted, with Mkhitaryan instead holding his hands up to the Old Trafford faithful.
As noted in the tweets below, it doesn’t sound as though the move went down particularly well with anyone. Having struggled under Jose Mourinho, many were desperate to see something a little more extravagant from the 29-year-old.
Given his level of professionalism though, Mkhitaryan was never going to be disrespectful. Nevertheless, he doesn’t really have major ties with United given his relatively short stay and so it was a surprise to see him not celebrate a big goal for Arsenal to get them back into the game.
Some will praise him, others will question it and implored him to enjoy the moment. Either way, he chose to go with a muted celebration, and it evidently wasn’t a popular decision.
Arsenal went on to lose 2-1 after Marouane Fellaini’s late goal, with Arsene Wenger’s possible last visit to Old Trafford as a manager ending in defeat as he prepares to step down at Arsenal at the end of the season, as per BBC Sport.
No celebration from Mkhitaryan. Okay.
— UNITEDARMY INDONESIA (@unitedarmyfc) April 29, 2018
Mkhitaryan you were at Old Trafford about a fortnight mate. Celebrate on your knees in front of the Stretford End.
— Anthony O’Connor (@oconnorant) April 29, 2018
Why is Mkhitaryan giving the muted celebration? He was crap for Utd and they got rid of him. Rub it in their faces.
— Rich Arrowsmith (@RichArrowsmith) April 29, 2018
Surely Mkhitaryan has to fully celebrate in Mourinho’s face there ??????
— Bonham (@sambham_x) April 29, 2018
If I was Mkhitaryan I would’ve done the maddest celebration kmt
— Iz’ (@iz_xoa) April 29, 2018
Did Mkhitaryan really refuse to celebrate after that goal ?
Yeah, its a good gesture not to celebrate against old team but never really expected that given the way he had to leave the club.#MUNARS#GGMU@premierleague
— Sakar (@mesakarghm) April 29, 2018
All I’ve wanted from this game was Mkhitaryan’s goal and a knee slide celebration in front of Mourinho. I guess I’ll have to please just with the goal
— Lacazettes (@Lacazettes) April 29, 2018
Why wouldn’t Mkhitaryan celebrate? A largely underwhelming season and a half at United compounded with him being used as a make weight after being ostracized by Mourinho. Should have gone wild. #MUNARS #AFC #MUFC
— Ryan Conway (@RJConway92) April 29, 2018
Mkhitaryan should’ve done a mad celebration in front of Mourinho smh
— Portgas D. Ace (@F1ashPoint) April 29, 2018
Why mkhitaryan didn’t celebrate his goal against United.. I’m puzzled.
— Boikanyo Thebe (@B_Thebe) April 29, 2018