MANCHESTER UNITED fans lept to the defence of Hannibal Mejbri after his exuberant celebrations in the defeat to Brighton.
The 20-year-old Tunisian international scored his very first senior goal for the Red Devils at Old Trafford on Saturday.
His impressive strike from range came moments after Joao Pedro put the Seagulls 3-0 up – but it proved to be a mere consolation.
So plenty of viewers blasted Hannibal's enthusiastic and passionate reaction – repeatedly jumping in the air and wildly pumping his arms before turning and running back to his own half to resume the match.
However, Red Devils supporters were quick to back the youngster, who left Monaco aged 16 to join the United academy, spent last season on loan at Birmingham and is now getting his chance in the first team under Erik ten Hag.
One said: "If you have been aware of Hannibal’s journey through the last few years you'll know why this reaction was completely justified."
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Another wrote: "Guy scored his first goal for the club he left France for as a 16-year-old boy and was trying to get the crowd going to potentially inspire a dramatic comeback."
A third added: "Hannibal Mejbri getting WAY too much stick for this… He’s clearly trying to lift the depleted Old Trafford crowd, only in 2023 will you face backlash for scoring a goal. Good for him."
A fourth commented: "Reasons to be positive from yesterday – a great goal from Hannibal Mejbri and his celebration showed just how much it meant to him."
And a final user replied: "Scores his first goal outside the box proud of himself celebrates quickly and gets back in to go again don’t mind it."
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Hannibal, making his fourth senior appearance for the Red Devils and first since May 2022, appreciated the special moment on social media.
But he did admit the shine was taken off by the disappointing result – United's third from five Premier Leagues this term.
The midfielder, whose only previous professional goal came with a cheeky free-kick for Birmingham, wrote on Instagram: "Years of work went into that moment to score a goal for this incredible club.
"Impossible to enjoy it without the team getting the result we wanted."
Christian Eriksen, who played alongside Hannibal for the 26 minutes, was also delighted to see his team-mate get on the scoresheet.
The experienced Dane said: "I'm very happy for him, he's a very good guy and he works very hard.
"As you see on the pitch, he's a loud guy, but he deserved it and like you said, he's unlucky to get the goal in a loss.
"I know if he scored today and we'd had won, it would have been a completely different feel for him and everyone else."
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