ANDROS TOWNSEND insists he did not mock Cristiano Ronaldo by mimicking his famous goal celebration.
Furious Ronaldo refused to swap shirts with Townsend at full-time after appearing to sarcastically applaud his imitation of the trademark twist and jump when he scored Everton’s equaliser.
The Manchester United superstar — who had started on the bench — stormed down the tunnel, but Townsend insisted he was not trying to take the mickey out of him.
Townsend said: “This guy is my idol,
“I was not imitating, it’s just a mark of respect to a guy who influenced my career.
“I grew up watching Cristiano Ronaldo and spent hours on the training pitch trying to execute his techniques.
“Maybe I should have spent a bit longer on the celebration because it wasn’t great.
“But it was out of respect for Cristiano and the way he dedicated himself to football and it is an honour to be on the same field.”
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Townsend also later revealed Ronaldo HAD given him his shirt and posted on Instagram: “Nothing but respect to the GOAT.”
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand defended Ronaldo, admitting: “We have all been there. He stormed down the tunnel, disappointed.”
Ronaldo’s team-mate Bruno Fernandes admitted United threw away another win.
United have dropped five points in their last two home Premier League matches.
And Fernandes moaned: “We should win this game, we should not concede that kind of goal. It’s not the first time.
“We should have more points. We drop points at home and we should not do that.”
Frustrated United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer added: “In the second half we lacked that cutting edge to get the second, which is vital.”
Townsend’s goal was his fifth since joining Everton on a free transfer from Crystal Palace.
Townsend added: “I’m loving my football. It’s been a good start but I’m capable of much more.”
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