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05th Apr 2017

Phil Jagielka pays lovely tribute to Seamus Coleman after nutmegging David De Gea

Pure class...although some Liverpool are taking the piss out of him

Patrick McCarry

Rio Ferdinand tells a great story about the time David Moyes sat himself and Nemanja Vidic down, when he was managing Manchester United, and advised them both to study footage of Phil Jagielka to help improve their defending.

The multiple league and European Cup winners made it through their conversation without a flashpoint but as they left Moyes’ presence, Ferdinand turned to Vidic and said:

“I don’t know what the f**k he just asked us to do.”

Last night at Old Trafford, Jagielka put in one of those superb rear-guard actions for Everton that Moyes loved so well. He may not be the sort of defender Manchester United fans would want but, then, United have the likes of Marcos Rojo in their defence.

It was Rojo that combined with United goalkeeper David De Gea to make a hash of a looping header that sailed into the six yard box before Jagielka nicked a boot on it and nutmegged the Spanish goalkeeper in the process. As Rojo and De Gea glowered at each other, Jagielka sprinted back to his half.

He knew there would be some defending to do.

The former Sheffield United man had a fine game for Everton as he shut down United attacks and dealt with the host’s long ball tactics in the second half. It was a performance worthy of a clean-sheet but United snatched a point with an injury-time penalty.

Following the game, Jagielka did something he had surely been meaning to do sooner but Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool prevented it. He would have liked to pass on his best wishes to Seamus Coleman, who is recovering after a double leg break he received while on Ireland duty, after taking all three points from Old Trafford but the sentiment was what counted.

Jagielka joins the likes of Jurgen Klopp, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Jon Walters, Ashley Williams and many more in wishing the Ireland captain a speedy return. It is a sign of how well regarded he is within football circles.

That said, some Liverpool fans aren’t as impressed and have been mocking the tribute…